Nobody wants to think about their own mortality. We go day by day, trying to live our lives and make things better for ourselves and our loved ones, all the while hoping that we leave our younger generations in a better world than the one we inherited. However, simply hoping for the best is not a proper plan of action. Without proper estate planning, there can be no guarantee that those you leave behind will inherit what you wish.
It is never too early to begin crafting an estate plan. The plan and documents you sign today can speak for you when you’re no longer able to, better ensuring that your beneficiaries are properly taken care of after you’re gone.
What Are Wills?
A will is a legal document that names those who will receive which assets in the event of your passing. The will names an ‘executor’, who will be in charge of the distribution of assets set forth by the documents. In cases of early death with young children, wills may also name guardians for minors who could be left orphaned. There are multiple types of wills, and many can be revised over your lifetime as your estate changes.
What Are Trusts?
Trusts can set aside assets intended for beneficiaries in an attempt to avoid probate. There are several types of trusts available, including irrevocable and revocable trusts. Irrevocable trusts give up legal rights to the assets within, but this has the advantage of avoiding estate taxes. Revocable trusts can be reworked and even revoked over time but are subject to taxation.
What is a Health Care Directive?
In the event that you become incapacitated due to injury or illness and important medical decisions must be made, a health care directive can entrust your loved ones with new authority. This helps limit conflict when making end-of-life decisions.
What is Power of Attorney?
Similar to a health care directive, power of attorney gives your agent financial decision-making powers in case you ever become incapacitated. This can be especially useful for single people who are making estate plans.
What Are Beneficiary Designations?
In creating an estate plan or writing a will, it is important to keep your retirement plan, insurance plan, and bank account beneficiary designations in mind. These designations can sometimes supersede language written into a will, so they must be kept up to date.
What is the Best Estate Planning Tool for You and Your Family?
Basically, everyone has an estate but not every estate planning tool is right for everyone. To better understand which plan would benefit you and your loved ones the most, it is advisable to evaluate your estate with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact our law firm today at (720) 420-1039 to learn more about how we can help you with your situation.