Four Essential Elements Of Your Estate Plan
Even if you are young and in great health, something unexpected could happen and claim your life early. You hate to think about it, but such a tragedy would be even harder for your family if you did not have a good estate plan in place. Every estate plan is different, and you should work with your attorney to ensure your plan is well suited to your needs. However, every estate plan needs to have these four elements.
A Living Will
A living will is a document that states what you would like to occur under specific scenarios if you are still alive and unable to make your own medical decisions. For instance, if you need a ventilator tube to sustain life, do you want it left in place or removed? Decisions like this are very hard for family members to make for you, and by writing a living will, you remove that responsibility from your family members -- you've already made the decision yourself.
A will is a document that states to whom your assets will go upon your passing. You can decide who you would like to inherit your car, your house, certain amounts of money, and so forth. Without a will, your estate will have to be divided by the state, which can be a very trying process for anyone involved.
In addition to designating where all of your assets will go, you also need to name an executor for your will. This will be the person who will make sure everything is distributed to the people named in your will. The executor will usually work with your lawyer, who can guide them in distributing your assets if there is anything complicated about your estate.
Medical Power of Attorney
At some point, you may be unable to made medical decisions for yourself due to a reduced mental state. A medical power of attorney can be put into place when you are younger, specifying that when a doctor deems it necessary, a certain person takes over as your decision-maker when it comes to medical problems. Without such a power of attorney, your family members may argue among themselves in regard to what's best for you.
If you do not yet have an estate plan, meet with an estate planning attorney as soon as possible to have one drawn up. You might think you are too young to die, but unfortunate things happen every day.