Estate planning is normally something people like to avoid. Nobody likes to think of what could happen should they lose the capacity to make their own decisions or to think what’s going to happen to their family after they pass. In reality, estate planning allows you to maintain control of many aspects of your life, as well as your passing.
1. Controlling Medical Decisions
One aspect of estate planning is the preparation of advance medical directives. These documents allow you to specify your wishes concerning end of life care, medical treatments and even appoint a health care proxy to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. All of these documents allow you to maintain a semblance of control over your medical care by making your wishes known to others.
2. Incapacitation Planning
Incapacitation planning is also part of estate planning. It allows you to plan for a time when you are no longer able to handle either finances, personal care or both on your own. Using estate planning tools such as a living trust or a durable power of attorney, you control the appointment of a person, as well as provide direction if desired, to handle your affairs should you no longer be able to do so.
3. Estate Distribution
Estate planning not only allows you to control who receives your estate, but using tools such as a trust, you are also able to instruct a trustee as to what distributions can be made and under what circumstances. This can be beneficial should you have a beneficiary who tends to be a “big spender.”
4. Appointing Guardians and Executors
A will is a cornerstone of estate planning, and creating a will allows you to name the guardian for minor children, as well as your estate’s executor. Should you die intestate, without a will, these appointments are made by a Probate Court.
While estate planning may require you to think about the unthinkable, maintaining control of your life and your estate is just one of the benefits of working with an estate planning attorney to establish a comprehensive estate plan.