Estate Planning Resources

Some people don’t like to think about estate planning because they are not comfortable with the fact that they will be leaving this realm sometime in the future. There are other people who don’t think that estate planning is important because they put it off as something that they can do at a later time. Sometimes, life can spring a surprise so it’s not to wise to leave your estate without determining how it should be administered after you are gone. Basically, estate planning is the distribution of your estate after your passing, and it’s best to get it done as soon as possible.

It’s your estate so you have a right and responsibility to ensure that it goes to the people, organizations, and even pets of your choice. The basic elements of estate planning include a will, a health-care proxy or living will, assignment of power of attorney, and even a trust for some people. Different states have different laws about estate planning so it’s best to check with your state as well as the federal laws.

What are the steps to be taken in planning your estate? The first is to determine the total worth of your estate. This can be highly challenging for people with a large estate, and the values of all types of assets can appreciate or depreciate, according to market forces. After you have identified your estate, the next step is to draw up your will. It’s the single most important document that legally dispenses your estate, according to your wishes. Without a will, the state has the power to distribute your estate among your immediate family members or blood relatives. In some states, guardianship of minors will be determined by the court in cases where there’s no will. An advance medical directive or a living will is a statement regarding life-sustaining medical intervention in circumstances whereby you are terminally ill and you don’t have lost the ability to communicate. By assigning the power of attorney, you are authorizing a trusted person to handle your business in the event that you suffer some health crisis. The two essential types of powers of attorney are “springing power of attorney” and “durable power of attorney”. To learn more about estate planning like trusts, gifts, and more, check out these resources.

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