For many people, estate planning is an uneasy experience because it requires confronting a number of difficult and uncomfortable questions. By engaging in estate planning, we ultimately must accept that we will one day no longer be here. Some people might also have to accept that one day, an appointed party will make decisions to care for them.
Even though many people understand that estate planning is essential, they hesitate to fully address estate planning issues. The best way to make sure that every element of your estate plan is fully accounted for is to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. The following are some of the important issues that you should consider when planning your end of life care and distribution of assets.
Who Will Take Care of Your Minor Children if You Die?
Some people hesitate to resolve estate planning issues because they cannot decide whom to name as a guardian of minor children. This creates the risk that if no guardian is appointed, a court will likely be tasked with determining who will care for your children.
Unless you believe that a judge will be able to make a better decision than you about who can care for your minor children, it is critical to address this issue in estate planning.
What Happens if You and Your Family are All Killed in an Accident?
While devastating to even consider, there is a chance that a catastrophic accident will occur and result in the loss of your entire family. Who will make decisions concerning your estate if an event like this occurs? If you are uncertain about how to resolve this issue, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney for guidance so that you can be best prepared for anything.
Are You Storing Any Genetic Material?
There have been a number of profound scientific developments over the last few decades. One of these is technology that has made it easier for some people to have children. New technology allows for the storage of eggs, fertilized embryos, and sperm. If you have this type of material in storage, it is important to consider how this material will be handled following your death.
Who Will Take Care of Your Pets?
While some people decide to create trusts to provide pets with financial support following their death, other people decide to set aside a certain amount of assets to take care of a pet. If you have an animal like a horse or parrot that has a long life expectancy, however, you will likely need advanced estate planning, which might include a pet trust.
When Would You Like Life-Supporting Measures Discontinued?
As part of estate planning, an attorney will likely request that you sign a document detailing whether you would like life-supporting measures taken to prolong your life. It can be challenging to determine when you would like life supporting measures discontinued and under what circumstances.
We each have different standards by which we gauge if the quality of our lives has descended too far, and it is important to let your estate plan reflect yours.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
If you or a loved one has questions or concerns about the estate planning process, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact attorney Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free initial case evaluation.