Planning for the future is important, and one aspect that often gets overlooked is estate planning.
An estate plan ensures that your assets get distributed according to your wishes after you pass away.
Last will and testament
Did you know that of individuals 55 years of age and older, only 46% have a will, but this is the cornerstone of any estate plan. This legal document outlines how you want your assets, such as property, money and personal belongings, to get distributed after your death.
A living will, also known as an advance healthcare directive, outlines your preferences for medical treatment if you become unable to communicate. This document addresses important decisions regarding life support, organ donation and other medical interventions.
Power of attorney
Granting someone power of attorney is a strategic move in estate planning. This document allows a trusted individual to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Incorporating beneficiary designations is important for assets like life insurance policies, retirement accounts and bank accounts. By specifying beneficiaries, you dictate who receives these assets directly, bypassing the probate process.
Letter of intent
While not a legally binding document, a letter of intent guides your final wishes. It can include details about sentimental items, funeral preferences and any additional instructions that may not fit into a formal document.
If you have minor children, you need to appoint a guardian. Specify who you would like to care for your children in the event of your passing. This ensures that your children get placed under the care of someone you trust.
Developing a well-rounded estate plan is a responsible and caring step toward securing the future for your loved ones.