When holidays come around, we often take a step back and consider the implications in a deeper sense. This can definitely apply to Thanksgiving, and the gratitude can extend far beyond the dinner table.
The people sitting around your table on that day are very important to you now, and the attendees felt the same way when you were a child. If you are going through life without a legacy plan, you may want to use the occasion to take care of this important responsibility.
A lot of people think that estate planning is something that is only important for senior citizens, but this is not the case. In fact, estate planning may be even more important for younger adults with partners and dependent children that are relying on them.
An estate plan for a young family will include the appropriate amount of life insurance, and term life is affordable for people that are relatively young. The other financial steps that you should take will depend upon the nature of your family and the extent of your resources.
You should also designate a guardian for your children when you are creating your estate plan as a parent of dependents. When you take these steps, you can go forward with the knowledge that you have covered all your bases for the benefit of your loved ones.
Mature Segment of the Population
When your children are grown, your estate plan will invariably take on a somewhat different complexion. People that have reached their middle-aged years are generally going to be in a different financial position, and retirement will be beckoning over the horizon.
There are different ways to arrange for asset transfers to your loved ones. A simple will is usually not going to be the best choice for people that have been successful.
What’s wrong with a will? There is not a lot of flexibility, and a will must be admitted to probate, which is a time-consuming and costly legal process.
A living trust can be a better choice, and you do not lose control of assets that you sign over to this type of trust. You would act as the trustee, and you would have total access to all of the property. The trust would be revocable, so you could dissolve it entirely if you ever choose to do so.
There are other types of trusts that can satisfy specific objectives. Simply put, there are many tools in the estate planning toolkit, so you should choose the approach that is ideal for you and your family.
When you plan your estate, you should consider the eventualities that you may face toward the end of your life. Alzheimer’s disease strikes 35 percent of the oldest old, and many elders become unable to communicate sound decisions due to other underlying medical conditions.
You can take steps in advance to prepare for possible incapacity. If you have a living trust, you can name a disability trustee to administer the trust if it ever becomes necessary. For property that is not in a trust, you can add a durable power of attorney for property.
Advance health care directives should also be part of the plan. With a living will, you express your preferences with regard to the use of life-support. A health care proxy should be added to name an agent to act as your medical representative for situations that are not related to life-support.
A provision that is contained within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) makes it illegal for doctors to communicate medical information with anyone other than the patient. You should add a HIPAA release to give your health care agent the ability to speak freely with your doctors.
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If you are ready to pour some of your gratitude into the estate planning process, we are here to help. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at (585) 546-1734.