One of the hallmarks of being young is feeling that you’re invincible and nothing can happen to you. But no matter how young you are, if you’re married, own property or other valuable assets, or have a life insurance policy, you need a plan for what happens to those things if you were to die.
At the very least, every person should have a will, a power of attorney and a health care directive. If you also own real estate or have minor children, then a revocable living trust will help you take control of any situation that may arise, limit potential problems and provide for your family.
A will tells the state what to do with property that is solely owned by you and has no other beneficiary. Without a will, the state of Washington will decide what happens to these items, no matter how valuable or trivial they are. Have you thought about what would happen to your iTunes library or your social media accounts when you die? Don’t want Mom going through your email account? All of those things can be outlined in a will.
A power of attorney will give someone of your choosing the power to make decisions in your name. This can be contingent upon certain circumstances, such as your death or incapacitation, or it can be lifelong. It’s up to you.
A health care directive lets people know what you prefer to happen to you in certain circumstances that you may feel strongly about. Someone with a terminal illness may not want to be revived if something happens to them. Others may not want to be kept alive indefinitely on life support. It’s up to you what the conditions are—but only if you put those conditions on paper.
Over the past 28 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.
About the Author
Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More