Understanding the Essentials
Effective estate management enables you to manage your affairs during your lifetime and control the distribution of your wealth after death. An estate plan can help assure your family of financial security after your death. It allows you to dispose of assets as you wish, with consideration given to your heirs’ individual needs and desires. An effective estate strategy can spell out your health care wishes and insure that they are carried out – even if you are unable to communicate. It can even designate someone to manage your financial affairs should you be unable to do so.
THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS
- Will- A simple will provides instructions for distributing your assets to your family and other beneficiaries upon your death.
- Durable Power of Attorney – A power of attorney is a legal document in which you name another person to act on your behalf.
- Health Care Power of Attorney – A durable power of attorney for health care authorizes someone to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so yourself.
- Living Will- A living will expresses your intentions regarding the use of life-sustaining Measures in the event of a terminal illness.
Once your documents in place, they should be reviewed at least every five years or when there have been significant changes in your family e.g. marriage, birth of a child, death, divorces, etc.