"Without a plan, a challenging time for your loved ones will become even more complicated and difficult."
Estate planning is the way to determine what happens to you and your property when you can no longer make decisions due to incapacity or death. Without this, you stand to make a tough process even tougher for your loved ones. If you don't have a plan, it can delay your medical care if you become incapacitated and make it more difficult to pass your wealth to your heirs when you die.
Make sure to state your wishes in the proper estate-planning documents. To complete these, consult with an estate planning attorney and keep the originals in a safe deposit box with a copy at home or on your computer.
A good estate plan can be like a customized suit of armor. Each piece is made to protect those things that are most important to you. A proper suit of armor gives the individual freedom of movement while protecting vital organs. The right estate plan for you will give you freedom to move through the stages of your life while at the same time protecting you, your family, your home and other assets.
So what are the most critical parts of an estate plan? Below youâ€™ll find four critical pieces and two enhanced tools that can make your estate plan the armor of a champion.
An advance health care directive indicates your healthcare choices and is used only when you are unable to communicate your wishes. Ask your estate planning attorney about the one specific to your state.
A power of attorney for finances lets you designate an individual to manage your financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated. If you fail to complete this form and you need help, a judge may appoint someone for you.
A HIPAA release form lets those named in your advance health care directive and your power of attorney access your healthcare information to work on insurance issues and talk to your healthcare providers if you are unable to yourself.
A will allows your assets to be transferred as you've designated upon your death.
A comprehensive power of attorney is like a traditional power of attorney on steroids. At Idaho Estate Planning we offer a Supercharged Power of Attorney. It has the power to avoid Guardianship or Conservatorship, prevent questions about the principal's intent, prevent delays in asset protection planning, protect the agent from claims of financial abuse and can even allow an agent to perform planning and transactions to make the principal eligible for public benefits.
Which benefits are most important depends on the situation of the principal and their loved ones. This is why a comprehensive power of attorney is so essential: Nobody can predict exactly which powers will be needed in the future. The planning goal is to have a power of attorney in place that empowers a succession of trustworthy agents to do whatever needs to be done in the future.
A living trust is another way to transfer property upon your death, which can be more confidential, faster, and more flexible than probate. With a living trust, your wishes may be less likely to be contested than with a probated will. Living trusts are not just for the wealthy, they are about protecting your family by planning ahead for the "slings and arrows" that life can send your way. Possible catastrophes include incapacitation, divorce, and special needs of a spouse, child or grandchild.
Not having an estate plan can be time-consuming, stressful, and costly for your heirs leaving them unprotected in your absence. Your estate will have to go through the probate process. There's also a good chance that your property won't be distributed as you wanted. Take action to create a carefully considered estate plan to help make sure your wishes are met and to make it easier on your family.
Sadly, much of what passes for estate planning today is little more than word processing. Someone asks a few questions and then fits you into their pre-defined box. This isnâ€™t planning â€“ This is simply document preparation. Settling for word processing in place of quality planning would be like settling for inferior armor to protect your family!
At Idaho Estate Planning we will take time to get to know you, your family, your desires, your concerns, your goals, and any potential future problems. Your estate plan should be a custom fit not a â€œone size fits allâ€. Remember, good planning is no accident.