People are always being advised to have their estate "plans" in order, but what are these plans that you are supposed to organize? Well, most are things that ensure that your wishes are carried out in case of your demise, and your dependents aren't left destitute. Estate planning also allows you to plan for your sunset years when your earning capacity may reduce. Some of the essential moves you shouldn't ignore include:
Writing a Will
Writing a will enables you to decide who gets a share of your estate after your demise. Sure, you can leave it to your state's intestacy laws, but such laws may only recognize your immediate family members such as children, spouse, and parents. What about your brothers, cousins, or even church? The only way to leave them portions of your estate is to list them as beneficiaries in your will.
However, there is more to a will than property division. For example, you also get to specify the executor – the person you want to ensure that your wishes are carried out. In addition to that, you can also choose the person or persons to take care of your minor children (as guardians).
Buying Life Insurance
Getting a life insurance is a good way of ensuring that your financial obligations will still be met after your demise. Use it to cover financial obligations that you currently meet with your earnings. Such obligations include:
- Educating your children
- Providing your family with day to day expenses
- Settling debts
Appointing a Power of Attorney Agent
According to Nolo, a power of attorney is a document you use to specify who can make important decisions (such as medical decisions) on your behalf if you are incapacitated and unable to do so. You can customize your power of attorney to specify the issues that your agent (the person who is to act on your behalf) is supposed to do. For example, you can have a durable power of attorney whose agent has the potential to make your financial decisions and transactions if you are incapacitated.
Commissioning a Retirement Fund
The earlier you start contributing to your retirement fund, the more you will have at your disposal when you need the money. You should have a plan in place whether you are in formal or self-employment. Even if you have a business or other forms of investment, you should still have a retirement fund because such things can be wiped away by unforeseen calamities such as unforeseen medical expenses or natural catastrophes.
Any estate planning moves you make should be accomplished within the confines of the law. Failure to do this may invalidate your wishes, and you may not be there to make any modification. Preempt and prevent such complications by involving a lawyer, like Caplin Susan M, in all these processes.