Estate planning is typically not something anyone looks forward to doing, however, it is a necessary process in order to protect your legacy. Since none of us know exactly how long we have, it is important to start the process early. By having your financial affairs in order, you will be able to alleviate stress and a possible financial burden for your loved ones.
By taking the time to draft a strong estate plan, you will be able to maintain control over what happens to your assets and property in Sandusky when you pass. If you want to ensure that your family receives their proper inheritance, follow these tips for estate planning:
Write a will
Essentially, a will provides guidance about how you would like your assets divided and distributed after your death. If you have children, it becomes even more important to have a will in place as soon as possible. For example, if you and your spouse were to succumb to an accident while your children are under the age of 18, you can name a guardian for them in the will.
Start a trust
A trust is a very powerful tool when it comes to estate planning. By creating a living trust, you can provide a route for your estate to skip probate and make the finances immediately available to your loved ones. By establishing a trust, you have control over the frequency and amounts of distributions that the trustee makes to your named beneficiaries. For example, you can specify that your daughter is to begin receiving distributions upon her acceptance to university for school-related expenses and that she can receive the remaining balance at graduation.
Select a power of attorney
In case you become incapacitated for any reason, you will want someone that is able to make decisions on your behalf. This is where a power of attorney comes in. You can grant a power of attorney to someone you trust to manage your financial affairs while you are unable to do so. In addition, you can grant a medical power of attorney which will give that individual the power to make decisions regarding your health care.
Create an advance directive
An advance directive provides very specific instructions regarding end of life procedures. For example, it can specify how long doctors should wait before removing you from life support systems. If can also include a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.
There are several other strategies you can include in your estate planning to ensure that your assets and family are protected and to make your final wishes clear. Your estate planning attorney will be able to advise you based on your specific circumstances so that you can rest easy knowing you have a strong estate plan in place.