A well-structured estate plan is important for individuals and families looking to secure their financial future and provide for their loved ones in the event of their passing.
Understanding key elements can provide clarity and direction when establishing your estate plan.
1. Last will and testament
A last will and testament, commonly known as a will, is a foundational document in any estate plan. It allows you to outline the distribution of your assets, such as real estate, personal property and financial holdings, upon your passing. A will also enables you to designate guardians for your minor children, should you have any.
2. Advance healthcare directive
Life is unpredictable, and you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot make medical decisions for yourself. An advance healthcare directive empowers you to appoint a trusted individual, known as a healthcare proxy, to make medical decisions on your behalf. This document also allows you to specify your preferences regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care.
3. Financial power of attorney
In the event that you become incapacitated, a financial power of attorney allows you to designate someone to manage your financial affairs, such as paying bills, managing investments and making financial decisions on your behalf. This can help ensure that your financial matters get handled smoothly and according to your preferences, without the need for court intervention.
Surprisingly, a recent survey indicated that only one in three Americans has an estate planning document. For people ready to buck that trend, taking the time to plan for the future provides peace of mind to both yourself and your loved ones