5 Estate Planning Documents to Create in 2019
Whether you ditched your 2019 resolutions long ago or are officially making 2019 your best year ever, there’s still something you can do to gain greater peace of mind and financial security this year. Five simple estate planning documents ensure your wishes are honored if you die, leave a legacy that doesn’t include fighting in probate court, and ensure you can support your loved ones even if the worst happens.
The right lawyer can help you craft the right financial documents in just a few hours. Here’s what you need:
Financial Power of Attorney
What would happen to your money if you became incapacitated? Who would pay your bills and make financial decisions if you developed dementia? A financial power of attorney nominates someone to make financial decisions on your behalf. The right person should be financially savvy, and should not have serious financial problems. Otherwise they could be tempted to misuse your resources. Choose someone who understands your needs and cares about your best interests. Then talk to them about how you want your assets managed.
Medical Power of Attorney
If you’re ever sick or injured, you’ll have dozens of medical decisions to make. What if you can’t make them? Whom do you trust? Is there a family member who is a great medical researcher, who can ask doctors pointed questions, and then make decisions that align with your values? That’s the person who should be your medical agent. If you’re not sure whom to pick, you might pick two people to jointly share the burden. It’s important also to select a back-up person in case your first choice dies, is injured with you, or is otherwise unable to make decisions.
A living will empowers you to make certain medical decisions while you are of sound body and mind, rather than designating these decisions to a third party. Your living will allows you to determine whether you want to be kept on life support, when and whether you want to be resuscitated, and which medical procedures you want to receive in the event you are incapacitated or have a life-threatening illness.
Everyone leaves something behind—whether it’s a sprawling estate or a small book collection. Everyone also leaves someone behind. So what do you want to happen to the people and things you leave behind? Your will gives you complete control over who inherits your possessions. In your will, you can also create a trust that allows you to set specific terms under which a person inherits possessions. For example, you might give your child your house contingent upon them completing college.
You’ve worked hard for everything you have and everyone you love. Don’t force them to spend months waiting on probate court or fighting among themselves. A will offers complete control over your assets, and saves your loved ones time and heartache.
Your will names who inherits your property if you die, and might create a trust or other structure to protect your assets. Beneficiary documents nominate a recipient of insurance policies and other paid benefit programs. It’s important to ensure these documents are up to date, and to know that changing your will may not change beneficiaries of various insurance policies. So spend some time doing an audit of your policies and making sure they align with your wishes.
We can help you leave a legacy and protect your assets. You might think you don’t need these documents if you don’t have a lot of money. Everyone needs a will. In fact, if you don’t have money, a will is even more important because it can protect the small legacy you leave. Give us a call today to learn more.
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FORT WORTH OFFICE 2630 WEST FREEWAY, SUITE 218 FORT WORTH, TX 76102
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