Most people think that estate planning is only for the rich and famous, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Regardless as to your situation, it’s good to make sure your assets, finances and family are protected.
An estate plan isn’t just for the ultra-wealthy—it’s a legal document that outlines how you want to have your assets distributed. Data suggests that less than half of Americans have an established estate plan in place, which means more than 50 percent Americans are at risk of having their estates wind up in probate upon their death.
Reasons you need an estate plan
A lot of people think an estate plan only covers how you want your wishes carried out upon your death. This isn’t always the case. For example, a medical power of attorney can be part of your planning. A medical power of attorney is a document that outlines who you want to make medical decisions on your behalf, should you no longer be able to make those decisions on your own.
In most cases, the responsibility would fall to your spouse. If you’re unmarried or your spouse is deceased, the decision making would fall to your adult children. If you don’t have adult children, decisions would be made by your surviving parents. Depending on your situation, you may want to designate someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf. A medical power of attorney will give your designated person the legal ability to do so.
You also have the ability to designate a financial power of attorney. This document would allow you to designate a proxy who will make financial decisions on your behalf, in the event you’re unable to make these types of decisions on your own.
Another key point to consider relates to how you want your wealth distributed upon your death. If you plan to leave $100,000 to an adult child, but you die when they’re in their early 20s, you may be reluctant to hand them such a large sum of cash during that point in their life. With an estate plan, you can indicate you’d like to provide $X per year for housing while they’re in college, with a bulk payment of $Y being designated toward the down payment of a house.
Call the Law Network PC today to learn more
Many people assume that estate planning is something they can put off until later in life, but everyone can benefit from starting a plan, regardless as to their age or how much wealth they have.
If you have questions about medical or financial powers of attorney, or you’d like more information on how trusts work, give us a call today. We’ll be happy to schedule a time for you to speak with one of our licensed estate planning attorneys, so we can answer your questions and address your concerns.
When it come to estate planning, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Call the Law Network PC today to learn how we can customize a solution around your goals.