Compliments of Our Law Firm,
Written By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
Your bags are packed, the reservations have been made, and the kids are lookingforward to spending a week at grandma’s house…you and your spouse are ready for asummer getaway. But before you leave for the airport, ask yourself if there’s oneplan you might have overlooked: your estate plan.Without proper estate planning, a vacation mishap could spell disasterforyou and those you leave at home. Here’s what an effective estate plan canprotect: Your Health and Well-Being What would happen if you became seriously ill or were injured during yourvacation? Who would make medical decisions for you? Who would take charge of yourfinances? Without an incapacity plan, an unexpected medical emergency couldthrust your family into turmoil. A solid plan, however, could bring a measure ofcalm and certainty to a difficult situation. Your incapacity plan should includea Durable Financial Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive. These twodocuments allow you to appoint an agent to manage your finances and your medicaldecisions if you become incapacitated and unable to handle these things foryourself. Your Children’s Future Proper planning also means making sure your family is taken care of in theevent of your death. If you have children who are minors (under age 18), thismeans creating a Will. For parents of young children, the most important featureof a Will is that it allows you to designate a guardian to care for yourchildren. In fact, a Will is the only legally effective means for communicatingyour choice. Your Financial Legacy With your incapacity plan in place and your children’s guardian designated,you’ll want to turn your attention to your financial legacy. A Living Trust isthe cornerstone of many people’s estate plan. One of the many advantages of a Living Trust is that its property does not gothrough probate when you die. Instead, the property controlled by your Trust canbe distributed by the person you’ve designated to act as your successor Trusteewithout the need for court supervision. This specific advantage has the potentialto save your loved ones time and money. A Living Trust allows you to dictate not only to whom your assets aredistributed, but also how and when they are distributed. This lets you tailoryour estate plan to offer added protection for circumstances like divorce,remarriage, creditor claims, and financial inexperience of your heirs. As vacation season begins, don’t forget to make an appointment with anexperienced estate planning attorney. With a solid plan in place, you’ll be readyto relax and enjoy your getaway!
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