Photo cred: Samalife365
Estate planning is about more than just distributing your assets. It is also about protecting your family, providing them with guidance and answers, and preserving your wishes and values.
Below is information on how you can achieve these goals with a comprehensive estate plan.
Protecting your family
As this CBS News article discusses, there are a number of ways your estate plan can protect your loved ones.
Nominating attorney-in-fact and health care agents (via powers of attorney and health care directives) can allow your nominee to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf during your lifetime but when you are unable to do so for yourself; updating your will can ensure the proper parties are included in the distribution of your assets; creating a trust can shield them from the complexities of probate.
Giving your loved ones information and tools to make decisions can be a great relief during difficult times of loss.
You can specify what type of funeral arrangements you would like and set aside money to cover those expenses. You could provide the documentation they need to settle your affairs, and direct them on your wishes for end-of-life care. This type of guidance can give your loved ones peace of mind and confidence when they are faced with making difficult choices without you.
Preserving your values
Your estate plan can also be an opportunity to design your legacy and ensure your values are represented in your gifts long after you are gone.
This might include setting up a charitable trust, passing heirlooms on to specific people, or even placing restrictions on gifts to keep your kids from wasting an inheritance. Taking these steps can reinforce your views on financial spending, religion/faith/spirituality, and charitable giving.
Working with an attorney can help you reach your estate planning goals
Protecting your assets is certainly a critical estate planning goal, but it is not the only objective you can accomplish. With legal guidance and the appropriate tools, you can create an estate plan that also helps you protect, provide for and preserve the people and things you value most.