In a nutshell, estate planning is the most basic form of asset protection for you and your children. Over the years, estate planning has evolved into much more than just the protection of your assets, but it also discusses your preferences for long term care, probate avoidance, and efficiency.
What Should I have as Part of My Estate Planning?
A will is the bare minimum you want to have for your estate plans. Your will names an executor and distinguishes how your assets are dispersed.
HIPPA Authorization is the ability for your loved ones to obtain your medical records on your behalf.
You want to establish guardianship not only for your minor children, but you also want to establish guardianship in your plan for you. As you get older, you may not be able to take care of yourself, and you may need to have somebody to make decisions for you
A living will is different than a will. A living will does not designate where your assets go but rather a living will is you legally stating that in the event that you are unable to live without machine assistance, and you can’t make decisions then and there, that you wish to be taken off life support. This takes away the ability for anyone but you to make the decision on whether you are kept alive or not.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
The ability for your loved ones to make health care decisions on your behalf.
Durable Power of Attorney
The ability for your loved ones to make financial decisions on your behalf.
What if You Do Not Have an Estate Plan?
If you do not have an estate plan, your assets will be dispersed according to the state’s plan for you. This is not an ideal way to handle your estate because you and your loved ones have no control over the estate.
How Often Should You Review Your Estate Plan?
We recommend that you review your estate plan every three years. However, we do an annual review of your plan and reach out to you to check in on how you feel about your current plan.
In addition, you want to make sure you’re keeping all of your contacts current in your estate plans. The average person moves 11.7 times in their lives so not only may your address and phone number change but so could your executor, health care power of attorney, or any other person mentioned in your plan.
Trusts and Family Trusts Go a Step Further
Trusts take your estate planning to the next level. Trusts give you more power over your estate even after you have passed. Trusts also more efficient, and they help you avoid probate.
Contact Baron Law
Whether you have an estate plan or not, Baron law can help you make sure your assets are protected. Visit us at our website or contact us to schedule a free consultation about your estate planning today.