Some people are under the false misconception that estate plans are only
necessary for elderly individuals. In actuality, it is wise for every
adult to have an established estate plan in order to better protect his
or her assets. Younger adults might now own as much as more established
individuals do, and their health is much more likely to flourish. However,
tragedies do happen, and it is always smarter to create a will and estate
plan earlier rather than later.
About Estate Plans
Estate plans are more than just wills. A will is only one component of
a fully established estate plan. Estate plans can also contain trusts,
power of attorney, and medical directives. Not only can an estate plan
help you determine who will receive your belongings after you pass away,
it can also appoint guardians for your children, and control how your
medical care is handled if you should be otherwise unable to speak for yourself.
The components of an estate plan may include:
Wills: Wills divide your assets and properties, designating which relatives
or friends will receive your belongings. Your will can also appoint guardians
for your minor children.
Trusts: In addition to a will, you can also use a trust to give a property or
other asset to a beneficiary. However, a trust will appoint a trustee
to manage the property until your beneficiary is able to care for it.
Trusts can be utilized while you still live, and are therefore very useful
for several situations.
Power of Attorney: The power of attorney allows you to designate who will act for you if
you are unable to do so. This gives the appointed person power over your
financials and medical choices.
Advanced Healthcare Directive: In your advanced healthcare directive, you can designate how you wish
to be cared for, medically.
Once you understand all of the different components an estate plan can
cover, it makes much more sense to have one as soon as possible. An estate
plan helps to protect your assets, prevent your friends and family from
having to go through probate after your death, and it can give you peace
of mind if something should ever happen to you. If you have children,
it is especially important that you establish a firm plan in the event
of an emergency, ensuring your children have the funds and properties
they need. And, most importantly, your estate plan can appoint a trusted
guardian to your children if something should happen to you and your spouse.
Contact Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny
to get started.