On behalf of the firm
The idea of facing one’s own mortality is by no means a popular idea. In fact, most people are so opposed to the idea that they will knowingly delay doing something they know is important as long as possible, often until something tragic happens.
On the other hand, some individuals will refuse to do any estate planning because they don’t think that dividing assets is important when facing the idea of a loved ones’ death.
That might be why several studies have shown that less than 45% of Americans even have wills.
While the concepts might be uncomfortable to deal with, the fact remains that loved ones will absolutely and without doubt have to deal with those issues after a family members’ passing, so it is best for them to be taken care of ahead of time.
One of the most important parts of estate planning is picking your “dream team.” Before any other planning can take place, you will of course have to make an exhaustive list of all your assets, including insurance policies, real estate, investments, and other such things.
Once that is done however, you will need to pick people to fill the following possible roles:
- · The guardian of your children should you and their other parent die
- · The individual who will be given control of your finances should you become incapacitated for any reason
- · The individual that will be allowed to make medical decisions on your behalf if you ever fall so ill as to not be able to make them yourself
- · The individual responsible for executing and carrying out your will, and finally
- · The individual(s) that will be inheriting your assets. Be as specific as you can in how you attribute them so as to remove any potential legal issues later on
Choosing the individuals you pick to carry out these tasks can be just as important as any rules and stipulations you personally write down in your will, so make sure you take the time to consider all your available options. Of course, if you want, you can put one person down for all of the above tasks, but many times that will put a lot of complicated things onto one person’s plate at once, and dealing with a loved one’s passing is hard enough without any added stress.
Facing one’s mortality can certainly be unpleasant, but estate planning does not have to be. If you have a good attorney on your side, and a good action plan, the entire process can be painless, and will be over before you know it. Plus, once it is done, you will feel an enormous peace of mind knowing that the future will unfold just the way you planned it.