Nobody will ever be truly prepared for death. Passing on is something that we’re sure will happen, but we don’t know when. In the meantime, we can either go on with our lives blissfully or prepare for it and take care of our loved ones even beyond the grave.
Estate planning is the process of deciding who gets what. Who will be your beneficiaries, and what asset you own will they get once you pass on? The truth is that no matter how much you own, you won’t take it with you forever.
That is why we need to plan these things in advance to make sure that our loved ones are taken care of and our assets and investments are distributed the way we want them to. In a way, it’s a method through which we speak even as we stand before the gates of death.
Despite its various legal and economic consequences, many people don’t write a will or an estate plan. Most of the time, people don’t fully understand what these plans are or what they are for.
Even if they know what a will and estate plan are, they avoid making it because they think the legal fees are not worth it. In addition, they believe these things only apply to wealthy people who have a lot of assets at stake. Even if they feel inclined to write a will or have an estate plan, people don’t know how to begin.
What’s their difference, anyway? A will is a legal document that can help a person express his desires regarding the disposal of his or her property estate after death. It’s different from an estate plan because the latter is much more specific and complicated. It deals with the disposal of assets. It also involves the documents, directions, and orders that need to be handled after one’s passing.
For example, an estate plan includes the power of an attorney in appointing those who handle the finances. You can even name the agent who will make medical choices for you. An estate plan also covers documents that are effective in your lifetime. One of these documents is a person’s will.
Matters Discussed in Estate Planning
Estate planning covers instructions on what will happen to your assets at the time of your death or when you get incapacitated. At its core is the disposition of financial affairs that affect your properties, whether it be cash, stocks, real estate, or anything with value. It even includes proceeds from your insurance.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself as you decide on your estate planning:
- Who will manage my business at the time of my death, incapacity, disability, or retirement?
- Who will be the guardians of my minor children?
- How will the family members with special needs be taken care of?
- Who will inherit what?
- How can I minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees?
It would help if you asked these questions to yourself because you want to cover everything as much as possible while you still can. Estate planning is a big financial and emotional step toward the end of your life, and it has plenty of benefits.
You Can Take Care of Your Assets
Take some time to think about your business, assets, and investments.
Throughout your life, you will have amassed wealth. You could have liquid funds sitting in banks or real estate. It would be a waste to let them go unmanaged.
While you can, pick the person who will manage your assets. This can be a relative or the estate planning attorney you have chosen to manage your affairs. This way, you can keep the company and the business going. Your investments can also continue accruing dividends even after death.
You Can Take Care of Yourself
At some point in your life, your mental and physical health may deteriorate and possibly hinder you from doing regular tasks. Think about who will take care of your medical and hospital bills then. More importantly, who’s going to make essential and urgent medical decisions on your behalf?
Estate planning includes documents that will give extraordinary medical power of attorney to the person of your choice. They will have the ability to decide which course of treatment you will undergo should you be in a position where you cannot make an informed choice.
You can also write down specific directions or decisions in a document to lay out your medical preferences. You may choose a loved one or an attorney. The important thing is that you give this responsibility to someone you can trust.
You Can Take Care of Your Family
The most crucial benefit of creating an estate plan is that it can help you protect your family. You want to make sure that they are financially supported with your assets. In addition, you can give your assets to the people who you think deserve them.
You want to make sure that your beneficiaries get the assets you think they need. At the same time, you want to prepare for a child who may still be a minor when you die. Ask yourself, who do you want to take care of them?
It’s not just about looking after your assets and financial matters. Estate planning also covers your family’s needs. Do you think they’re old or capable enough to manage your investments? If so, decide which among the family members you will appoint as executor.
Estate planning is an essential step toward preparing for the end, and it doesn’t just mean death. It also implies incapacity or retirement. Don’t let yourself be discouraged from making one just because you don’t particularly understand how to do it. Consult an expert today!