You can’t plan an estate, make a will, or establish a trust without answering three key questions. These questions create the foundation of documents such as living wills, medical directives, and trusts.
Before you begin your estate planning, answer these three important questions:
- Whom do you want to inherit your assets? The answer to this question can and will change over the years. It could be family, friends, a charity, or grandchildren. It could even be a family pet. Whoever it is, planning ahead can make sure they get the most benefit possible. Also remember, you are making a gift; therefore, you do not have to justify why the percentages of gifts that you choose to make. It’s your money and your property so you can do what you want with it.
- Who do you want to handle your finances when you can’t? There are a number of circumstances in which you may no longer be considered of sound mind. Many of these circumstances are unforeseeable, or, if you’ve been diagnosed with any long-term condition, this may be a reality sooner rather than later. Keep in mind this circumstance may not entail being in a coma or completely unconscious. Many conditions can render you able to take care of yourself but not make smart financial decisions for yourself or your family. By deciding these conditions ahead of time, you can empower yourself even in the weakest of times.
- Who do you want making medical decisions on your behalf? Basically, who do you want to step into your shoes if you can’t take care of your finances. If you’re ever in any kind of accident, undergoing a medical procedure, or just in bad condition medically, you need someone who can look out for your best interests. Doctors and medical staff are required by law to do everything they can to preserve life. Family members are too emotionally close to a situation to be able to make hard medical decisions. You can eliminate uncertainty and make sure your wishes are carried out by assigning a health-care proxy who not only knows your wishes in extreme situations, but has the legal power to act on them.
Over the past 24 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 that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.