The ultimate adulting task – Estate Planning.In one dynamic hour four selfless female attorneys lent their combined expertise, energy and time to help us tackle an ultimate in adulting tasks – Estate Planning. Don’t run away! Trust us, you need to hear this. Many thanks to Betsy Martin, Heather Hazelwood, Crystal Beard and Orly Reznik for spending the hour with Purpose & Power to guide us – Here are top 4 take-aways (we had to stop somewhere).
- Set up smart ownership of your property, create an Estate Plan and get organized.
- A Will is simply the document that gives away your property when you die. P.S. Kids are not property so you can’t give them away, but you can name preferred guardians (thanks for the reminder Betsy!)
- Trusts – think of it like a legal umbrella. Pop it up when you are alive to take care of needs or keep it shut until you die and then have it pop up to have someone else control your property for your heirs, like minor children. There are many reasons to have a Trust, just like there are different times you carry an umbrella, so talk to a lawyer about your situation and let them guide you.
- While you are alive, you need these documents…seriously. These documents give instruction and permission to someone to help you when you need it most.
- Health Care POA – is valid as soon as it is signed and needed for when your medical team determines you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself.
- Financial POA – allows someone to manage your finances, property, and other legal interests on your behalf. It is not automatic for spouses and is perhaps the most important document to have for managing your care.
Beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies override directives in your Will. So if you still have an old flame as your beneficiary, you might want to make that change sooner than later!
- If you become incapacitated someone still must make critical decisions which can cause a lot of extra work and strain of the people you leave behind, especially when it comes to minor children or dependent adults.
- The Guardianship Process is arduous – If guardianship needs to be designated it can require a court filing, service by the Sherriff and Guardian Ad Litem, notification of next of kin and a court hearing in which your incapacity is publicly set forth.
- That’s a lot of people that would be left out of your personal business had you only done your documents!!
What should you do today?
- Make an appointment with an estate planning attorney…No seriously, do it! Create an estate organizer, a digital estate plan and share your plans with the important people in your life. They will thank you and you’ll know you are taking care of the people you love by taking care of yourself.
For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.
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