Regardless of what assets you currently, it is a good idea to consider having some legal documents written to address what will happen when you become incapacitated or pass away. All too often, family members are left in a frantic and undesirable situation after a loved one passes away or has a medical crisis. The following are some helpful steps that you can follow to avoid creating an estate planning crisis for your loved ones.
Created a Detailed Trust
One of the best ways to avoid family disagreements after your passing is to create a living trust, which is a legal document that appoints a trustee, which is someone who will be responsible for your assets when you pass away or become incapacitated.
If you decide not to create a trust, the chances are much greater that your loved ones will end up in a disagreement about who should be responsible for managing your assets. When these matters must be resolved by a court, it results in additional fees for your estate. Your loved ones will have to wait much longer for a resolution and to collect any assets you have left for them.
If you choose to establish a trust, however, it is critical to remember to update the terms of your trust. Births or deaths in your family or among beneficiaries should make you revise the terms of your trust.
Appoint Power of Attorney
As you establish a detailed estate plan, you should give thought to appointing a financial power of attorney, which is someone who manages your finances when you can no longer do so. You also should give thought of using a healthcare directive to appoint a person who will make medical decisions for you.
It is vital that you give thought to who you appoint for each of these responsibilities because these people will end up having the capacity to make significant decisions in your life if you end up in a position in which you cannot do so for yourself.
By appointing someone to act in this capacity, you greatly reduce your chances of fighting among your loved ones. This is because no debate will arise over what financial or healthcare decisions you wanted. Instead, the person or persons that you appoint will be recognized as the ones who have the duty of making decisions regarding your health and finances.
Engage in a Discussion With Your Loved Ones
It is not enough to write estate planning documents addressing what healthcare and financial decisions you would like made. Instead, you should make sure to have open and frank discussions with your loved ones about your estate planning choices.
By discussing your estate planning goals with your loved ones, you have the chance to explain why you made the decisions you did. Failing to do this greatly increases the chances for argument among your loved ones. This is because your loved ones might make their own inferences about what you wanted as well as the validity (or lack of) your estate planning documents.
Speak With an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
If you are interested in discussing your estate planning goals with an experienced lawyer, you should not hesitate to contact attorney Jim A Lyon. Attorney Lyon has years of experience helping people with estate planning and can make sure you do everything possible to avoid an estate planning crisis.