Between the pandemic, skyrocketing inflation, and now a de facto recession, it’s been a rough couple of years. If you’re like many people, you may feel like things are out of your control. Regardless of how many bad things are happening in the world, to think you have no control is simply untrue. You have more control than you realize. You are responsible for the decisions that determine where you end up in life and there major ones that you need to take into consideration now before it’s too late.
Here are some things that you should make decisions about in order to regain control over your life:
- The ways in which you accumulate your wealth and preserve your assets during your lifetime
- The type of medical care you receive, even if you become too ill, injured or incapacitated to make your wishes known to your health care team
- Who will finish raising your minor children if you and your spouse die together in an accident before they reach their respective ages of majority
- Who will inherit your estate
That’s a lot of control, but it requires you to establish and maintain a comprehensive estate plan in order to exercise it most effectively.
Estate Planning Basics
Estate planning is “making a plan in advance, naming the people or organizations you want to receive the things you own after you die, and taking steps now to make carrying out your plan as easy as possible later.”
Specifically, your estate plan can include some or all of the following documents:
- Your last will and testament
- One or more revocable living trusts to benefit your children or others for whom you wish to provide
- Your living will or advance directive
- Your health care power of attorney naming the person you want to make medical decisions for you in the event you cannot make them yourself
- Your financial power of attorney naming the person you want to make financial decisions for you in the event you cannot make them yourself
- An irrevocable life insurance trust
- Your business succession plan
Consequences of Having No Estate Plan
The importance of having a well-thought-out estate plan cannot be overstated. Without one, your family faces many difficulties in the future, including:
- Insufficient funds to raise your children
- Possible disputes over your medical care
- A long and expensive probate process
- A disappointing and unsatisfactory distribution of your assets if you die without a will
- Depletion of your estate by estate taxes, probate costs, and fees to executors and attorneys
By establishing your estate plan now, you give your family protection against these and other problems. You also give yourself peace of mind knowing that you have a plan in place that gives you and your loved ones stability in uncertain times.
Estate Planning Resources
Keep in mind that estate planning is not a one-and-done process. The documents you create today likely will not meet your needs as your family expands and your wealth grows. Consequently, updating and amending your documents as the need arises is as important as establishing your estate plan.
No one can foresee what the future holds for them, but AmeriEstate Legal Plan, Inc. can help take the uncertainty out of the most important things in your life. Contact us today.