Estate planning is a key element in any financial plan, no matter what your age. Estate planning allows you to decide how your assets should be distributed upon your death. In essence, it allows control from the grave! And a word of advice to those under 50, dying does not just happen to old people. But, too often young people think it does and that is a stumbling block to get this last piece of the financial plan finished.
If you do not have a will, guess what? The state will provide one for you.
Yes, it’s that simple. A post on the CBS Boston website titled “Estate Planning For All” explains more.
Yes, your state’s estate laws and the probate judge will decide who will get your assets if you die. And if you are married with young children and both you and your spouse pass at the same time, the judge also gets to decide who will be the children’s guardian.
Think about that.
Now think about your family. Is there a cousin Vinny, or maybe a Cousin Itt, on the family tree?
Do you want either of those two and their families raising your kids?
Talk to the person(s) you are considering to raise your children. Find out about their values, goals, parenting style, and maybe most importantly—their patience level.
Estate planning doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, or complicated. And it’s not just for millionaires and movie stars. You still want to do it right, and you should turn to a professional to make sure you have the following documents drafted correctly.
- Draft a will. Name an executor/executrix to execute your wishes and distribute your assets and if you have minor children you should name a guardian for them.
- Sign a Durable Power of Attorney. This lets you appoint an individual to act on your behalf legally and financially if you are incapacitated.
- Health Care Proxy. This lets you select someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them. You need to have a discussion with the person you ask to be your proxy about how you feel about death, dying, and life support. Make sure they understand that this is about you and your wishes—not about what they think is right.
Please contact our office today at 239-225-7911 to schedule an appointment with Barbara M. Pizzolato if you are interested in protecting your legacy and need to create or update your estate plan. You may also wish to attend one of our free seminars.
Reference: CBS Boston (May 1, 2015) “Estate Planning For All”