Estate planning can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start and what you’re doing. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of estate planning, what it is and why you need it.
Let’s begin by answering a simple question:
What is estate planning?
First of all, yes, you have an estate. Your estate consists of everything you own, such as your:
—– Accounts on the internet
—– Home and the items in it
—– Money and stocks
—– And more
Estate planning means determining your assets (possessions) and planning out how you want them to be preserved, distributed, or managed when you’ve passed or when you’re unable to take care of them during your lifetime.
A simple estate plan consists of:
—– Your Last Will & Testament: This is a legal document that details how you want your possessions to be handled & distributed, and who should take care of your family after your death.
—– Durable Power of Attorney: When you’re no longer present or unable to make decisions about your estate, you can appoint someone to determine the best course of action for you. And regardless of the name, the person you appoint does not have to be an attorney.
—– Healthcare Power of Attorney: Similar to above, this is someone you appoint who can make medical care & treatment decisions for you when you can no longer communicate your medical preferences.
—– Living Will: A living will states how you wish to be treated when faced with a serious medical condition. This can express that you prefer certain treatments or that you refuse to undergo certain procedures (such as life-sustaining treatments, etc.).
Why do you need an estate plan?
It’s imperative to have a clear plan for the future. With a solid estate plan, you can make sure that your family and possessions are properly taken care of without any confusion or added stress.
If you don’t have an estate plan, you’ll be considered intestate. As a result, portions or all of your assets may pass through probate, where the courts will decide what to do with your possessions according to your state’s law.
The good news is that planning for your estate does not have to be daunting or scary. The knowledgeable and caring attorneys at SWC Law can guide you every step of the way. You’ll have peace of mind, knowing that you’ve planned for the future as best you can.