Part of getting down to the business of defining one’s estate plan is understanding what it is, how it can protect your family and assets and then ensuring it’s filed properly with your New Hampshire estate planning attorney. This week, we delve a bit further into estate planning with the goal of better understanding those dynamics. If you’ve not put an estate plan in place, this just might be the ideal time to unload that burden.
Essentially, estate planning is a process that allows one to put into place the legalities that will protect their loved ones after he or she is gone. Those who have a current will and estate plan know that there will be no confusion or court showdowns surrounding their assets. While it’s not a simple process, it’s also not the overwhelming and intimidating process many believe it to be. The right legal representation can easily navigate those waters so that his client can get back to the business of living well.
Many Aspects of Estate Planning
Part of your estate plan should include your will, naturally – but don’t underestimate other considerations such as tax breaks and avoiding probate.
A living will is always strongly recommended as it allows you to decide what a medical team will do should you become incapacitated. It’s often used in tandem with the durable power of attorney. Human nature is often the driving factor for those who are being asked to decide what to do in terms of medical options for a loved one who’s being kept alive via artificial means. Most of us can’t imagine doing anything else other than never giving up, even when there is no hope.
Detailing your wishes and those difficult decisions ahead of time can be a beautiful grace extended to a grieving family as it removes those impossible and extraordinarily painful choices. Your estate planning attorney will be able to provide a perspective that will allow you to approach it realistically, though with compassion.
And let’s be honest: no one really knows what to expect with the new healthcare laws that are set to kick in full gear within a few short months. It’s entirely likely the medical decisions you make today will benefit your family in ways we can’t even begin to understand yet.
Part of an estate plan will also cover your retirement accounts, any properties you own, your businesses and insurance considerations. These too are crucial as you’ve worked your entire life to prepare for retirement and life after reporting to work at 9 am each day. You’ve come too far to not put the right dynamics in place that will protect your family and loved ones. Again, the right estate planning legal team will help you as you help yourself.
Commonly Used Estate Planning Documents
Here are a few more common terms, along with those mentioned above, that can help clarify estate planning as a whole –
As mentioned, there are medical forms that allow you to maintain control over what happens should you be unable to speak for yourself concerning medical care. From a financial stance, a durable power of attorney for property does the same thing regarding your investments and estate. It allows you to name someone to handle financial matters should you be unable to do so.
A living trust allows you to maintain control of your assets while also selecting a trustee who will continue to carry out your wishes should the time ever come. Many like these as financial tools because they are always in control of their finances and can revoke their named trustee as they see fit.
These are just a few of the dynamics that define estate planning. Have questions or ready to put those safety mechanisms in place? Give our estate planning legal team a call today.