As the holidays approach, many people will be giving gifts and committing themselves to acts of selflessness. While most people would not make the association between the joyful holidays and estate planning, creating an estate plan is one of the most selfless acts. In the case that something unexpected happens to you, an estate plan would help to protect and provide for those close to you. In essence, an estate plan can be one of the greatest gifts you give to those you hold dear.
There are a few documents that will help you get started with your estate plan. Three major documents would be a will, power of attorney, and a living will. If you have children, having an appointed guardian is essential, as the children would become wards of the state. You can easily appoint a guardian in your will, which will ensure that they will be well taken care of in an emergency situation.
Also known as your Last Will and Testament, this document allows you to easily communicate directions and your wishes following your death. Here are a few things that can be taken care of with a will:
Having a power of attorney gives you the reassurance that someone is there to help you when you need them most. Maybe you are in the hospital for a long period of time and you fall behind on your bills, or you are in another country and need someone to be able to make decisions for you on your behalf. A power of attorney can do the following things:
A living will is used when you are unable to tell people your final wishes. This could be that you are in a coma, or maybe you have a terminal condition, or whatever the situation may be. In essence a living will is used mostly when a person is near death. This will cover specifics like a Do Not Resistate “DNR” or could even go into your objection to go through a dialysis treatment or chemotherapy if you are not able to make those choices. When determining who you want to appoint as your living will agent, it is important to select an individual that has the same religious background, and has the most aligned feelings on issues as you. Do not just select your family member because they are your immediate family, while an immediate family member may be a great agent, you want to make sure that the person you appoint will make the same decision as you would want.
Are you ready to create an estate plan? The holidays are one of the most common times that people create wills and estate plans as it is usually an item on people’s “to do” lists that gets pushed off throughout the year. As the new year rolls around, people will make a point to get these early into the new year. Contact The Law Corner for help creating your Estate Plan.