Here are two things you probably did not know about estate planning. It’s not just for the wealthy, and it does not have to be complicated. Estate planning is simply a method to decide what will happen to what you own when you die. Death may be inevitable, but estate planning lets you decide now, where your property will go later.
If the idea of having control over what you own appeals to you, let’s begin with an estate planning checklist. With an estate plan, you can:
* Name which family members or friends will receive your property
* Have your property transferred with minimum or sometimes no estate taxes, and usually with few or no legal
* Establish a plan for your medical care if you become incapacitated
Components of any estate planning checklist involve a Living Will or Last Will and Testament or Living Trust. A Living Will,
also known as a health care directive, details your instructions about your health care decisions to extend your life or not, if you become seriously ill. Unlike the “Last Will and Testament,” a living will does not involve property.
A Revocable Living Trust gives legal ownership of your property to the person or people you designate. During your lifetime, you can still make decisions about your property and you can revoke and amend the trust at any time. People may set up a Living Trust instead of a Last Will and Testament. Even though, the trust may initially be more expensive, it will help to avoid the probate process, during which the court monitors the assets. Probate can often be expensive and a lengthy, time consuming process.
Another important item on your estate planning checklist is a health care proxy. This person should be someone you trust, such as a member of the family or friend, who will make decisions about your health if you cannot. If you become permanently disabled, for instance, suffering from dementia, the health care proxy will have the authority to make all decisions concerning your health.
Estate planning may be an uncomfortable process because no one likes to think about his or her own death. However, if you find satisfaction in making sure that the things you value will go to the people you care about, estate planning becomes very important. Call the law offices of Mindy Felinton, and let’s talk about what is important to you.