Studies show that more than 50% of Americans don’t have a will but this can prove to be a grave mistake, especially if you have a family. Not having a will in place can lead to your assets not being allocated in the way you would like which can be an issue if you have a blended family. It is also important to have a medical power of attorney in place to ensure that you’ll receive the type of medical care that you want. Below are a few estate planning tips.
Draft Your Will Today
Many people put off drafting a will but if you don’t have one, the government will decide how your assets will be distributed. If you don’t have children your estate may go to your parents or brothers and sisters. If you are married it may all go to your spouse.
Estate planning is particularly vital for couples who live together without being married. If you are unmarried the state may decide to allocate the estate to your family and leave your partner in the cold. If you want to leave something for your partner you will need to draft a will. You can also learn about creating a well-constructed TOD deed for an option of transferring your property to your beneficiary with less hassle and expense on their end upon death of owner.
Review Your Will
It’s important to review your will on a regular basis in order to make sure that everything is up-to-date. Life changes such as a break up, divorce or a soured relationship may all affect how you’ll want to allocate your assets. You may also want to want to change the executor of state if he or she becomes ill or unable to manage your assets.
Make sure that the executor of estate and your heirs be able to locate the will. Keeping it in a safety deposit box in the bank may not be the best idea as your heirs will not be able to access it. If you have substantial assets such as a business or investments you may want to hire the services of estate planning attorneys as your assets may be subject to estate tax without proper tax planning.
Plan For Your Children’s Future
Draft how you would like your insurance policy distributed. Do you want the funds managed by a relative or placed in a trust which the child will be able to access once they hit a certain age? You may also want to name the person who will have guardianship over your children in case both parents pass away.
Draft A Living Will & Medical Power of Attorney
The purpose of a living will is to state your wants in case you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own behalf. You may want to draft a medical power of attorney which will grant another person the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf. Your living will should also include if you want treatments which can prolong life towards the end of your life such as dialysis, respirators and blood transfusion.
You may also want to consider including an advance directive if you don’t want to be resuscitated or receive CPR towards the end of your life. This can be done via drafting a DNR or Do Not Resuscitate directive.
Estate planning may seem like something to put off but it’s imperative if you want to make sure that your wishes will be carried out.