Once upon a time, estate planning was thought of as something only wealthy people did. But estate planning is not just about money, property and investments. It also involves your health in the future and whether or not you are able to care for yourself and make decisions. If you become too ill to make decisions for yourself, you can make sure that those final wishes are fulfilled.
Tips to Estate Planning
- Start early. Don’t wait until you are very ill to start planning your estate. The earlier you start planning, the better. Make a list of your wishes for others to follow in case you should become incapacitated. Make an inventory of your resources and this includes the people in your life who you trust. You will need someone to follow not only your financial wishes but your medical decisions.
- Choose your healthcare power of attorney. This is the person who will make your medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. Sometimes the document you create is called a living will and lists treatments you will allow or not allow in the case of severe illness. These documents also make it easier for your loved ones, since they know they are following your wishes. Choose wisely when picking a healthcare power of attorney. Many seniors will pick their eldest child but will they be able to follow your wishes? You need someone who is going to be on your side and also able to stand up to others who may not agree with your decisions.
You will also need a financial power of attorney for financial decisions on your behalf. They are able to set up trusts and manage your assets and other financial matters after you die. Without one, or without a will, your family or loved ones will have to go through various procedures in order to distribute your assets. A will is the simplest way to distribute your assets once you have died. To read the full article on estate planning and how to manage your healthcare and financial decisions, click here.