Three Estate Planning Considerations

While the end of your life isn't the happiest of topics to have to think about, there are some things that you should definitely put some thought into and have taken care of in order to ensure that your wishes for your estate and your health are kept intact. Here are three things to think about when considering your end of life plan:

Making a Will
Making a will is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. It is the only way to ensure that your possessions go to the people you want them to (and don't go to people you don't want them to). If you don't have a will the state will determine how your assets are split amongst your immediate family which could cause tension and difficulties amongst family members. In addition your will is where to make clear any specific funeral arrangements that you would like. Finally, carefully consider who you want to be the executor of your will as this person will be in charge of ensuring that all of your final wishes are carried out. Make sure they are someone you trust to do the job correctly.

The Use of Trusts
In order to ensure that the inheritance you have left family members or friends is being used in a manner that you would want, you can use a trust to make certain stipulations as to when they would receive the money and how it could be used. In addition, trusts can be used to lessen the burden of taxes or any other fees that could be associated with your heirs receiving their inheritance. If keeping your assets private is your main goal then putting them into a trust might be the best solution as most trusts help your assets avoid probate as they are passed down, thus keeping them out of public record.

Having a Living Will
In addition to having a will for what will happen with your estate when you die, you should put into place a living will, including a healthcare power of attorney, which establishes your terms for medical treatment if you become incapacitated. Whether or not you want life prolonging measures to be utilized in the event of serious illness needs to be outlined by a living will in order to ensure that your wishes are met. Having a healthcare power of attorney allows you to choose the person that you would want to make healthcare decisions for you should you become unable to do so.