FAQ: Estate Planning
Do you need to create an estate plan? Unsure of where to begin? Plagued with questions surrounding the process? Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, it’s not uncommon for people to put off the creation of an estate plan.
How long will it take to develop my estate plan?
For most, the estate planning process can be easy to push to the back of your mind. Save for another day. Leaving an estate plan incomplete can only result in problems down the road. An estate plan doesn’t have to be as cumbersome of a process as it’s often made out to be. There is much to consider when creating an estate plan such as:
- Identifying and executor
- Identifying a guardian to care for your children
- Naming Beneficiaries
- Identify a trustee
- Medical Directives
- Power of Attorney
- Outlining your assets
Depending upon the complexities of your specific situation, timeframes may vary. However, by working with an estate attorney we can assist you in creating an estate plan as efficiently as possible.
What is a living will?
A living will is a plan outlining your wishes in the event you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. If you become incapacitated, and no longer have the ability to make end of life decisions. A living will, or advanced medical directive outlines your wishes and appoints someone to carry them out for you. Having a medical directive in place is key to helping your family and medical professionals make decisions. Without this in place, your loved ones will be left to make decisions on their own.
What is power of attorney?
Power of attorney gives the person of your choosing the authority to make financial decisions regarding your assets. Power of attorney is an important aspect to the creation of a living will as it gives the person you select the ability to make such decisions while you are still living.
The person who assumes this responsibility is called an “agent.” They can assume power over all financial decisions or only specific components to them. Power of attorney can be utilized for convenience or in situations where you no longer have the ability to make financial decisions for yourself. Examples of when power of attorney may be utilized can include:
- Selling Real Estate or Assets
- You are traveling
- You are disabled
- Purchasing Assets
Do I really need help from a lawyer?
Creating an estate plan without an attorney can make the process far more complicated than it needs to be. Although it may be possible to create a basic estate plan, you may have no way of knowing whether it is actually a valid document that will hold up when the time comes. Additionally, creating your own estate plan may not take into account key tax laws.
Have you been dragging your feet when it comes to creating your estate plan? Stop putting off what may be one of the most important documents you should have in your possession. Don’t leave your loved ones left feeling lost as to your final wishes in the event of the unexpected. An estate lawyer has the ability to help answer your questions and create an estate plan that provides your family with the guidance they will need when the time comes.