Let’s face it – talking about death isn’t exactly the most enjoyable topic. Most people like to imagine it happens when one is old, wrinkly, and sleeping soundly while snuggled in bed. Others refuse to think about it at all and are at a disbelief of their own mortality. But whether you are one of those who are emotionally prepared, or one who refuses to go without kicking or screaming, death is simply one thing in life that is guaranteed. And unfortunately, we can’t predict just yet when it will happen (although I’m sure Google is coming up with an algorithm), so making plans for what happens when you get there is something that simply can’t be left on the to-do list. Here are 5 reasons why you should start your estate planning yesterday:
- Guardianship – If you’ve been brave enough to feed, clothe, house, discipline – and these days, educate – humans under the age of 18, then chances are you are a parent. And as such, the thought of those cherished angels being cared for by someone else probably scares you. Establishing guardianship ensures you get a voice in who, and how, those precious rug rats are cared for in your absence.
- Advance Healthcare Directive – For anyone who has a license, chances are you’ve made a choice on those pesky forms whether or not you want to be an organ donor. But that decision is really just the tip of important healthcare choices that are made towards the end of life. An Advance Healthcare Directive outlines your wishes for things like organ donation but includes other components as well – like choices to prolong life, options to conduct an autopsy, and more. Additionally, an Advance Healthcare Directive allows you to handpick a person to make healthcare decisions for choices you haven’t previously outlined. This can be especially valuable during moments of incapacity and avoids the very real threat that these decisions will otherwise be made by court appointed “Joe Shmoe.”
- Power of Attorney – Money is the last thing people want to think about during times of crisis. But unfortunately, being incapacitated or even having met your maker, doesn’t stop (some) financial responsibilities from rearing their ugly head. With a Durable Power of Attorney, you appoint someone to handle money matters in the event you can’t. Even better, they are legally responsible to use those funds for your benefit.
- Instructions – Interested in a Viking burial reminiscent of Game of Thrones? Or refuse to be buried in the same plot as an angry old aunt? Sounds great! But there’s no guarantee these instructions will be carried out unless they’re solidified in a Will or Trust.
- Reduce Stress for Loved Ones – The last thing anyone wants after their passing is for family members to have to make tough decisions, and worse, for those decisions to cause strife between family members. An estate plan ensures all of your wishes are conveyed, adhered to, and most importantly, removes the guesswork from family members at a time when they should only be focused on how best to support one another.
Planning for this part of the future does not have to be scary. With expert guidance on the components of estate planning and how to secure what is important to you, estate planning really can be a simple process. Let us help you check this off your to-do list with a complimentary consultation today.