As much as we’d want to avoid them, accidents or illnesses happen, and they could sometimes be fatal. We’ve all had heard of friends or relatives meeting their untimely death or getting into an accident that left them permanently debilitated. There’s a big chance that they’ve left their families unprepared both emotionally and financially. Part of being a responsible adult is planning ahead in case this ever happens to you. You’d want to make sure that you’ll make things easier for those you care for.
It’s not enough to simply get life insurance. There are things that you have to consider during this planning and preparation stage for your family, such as estate planning, important papers that list all your important assets, and an inventory of your properties in Townsville or elsewhere.
One would expect a last will to be the first thing on the list. However, before you even make one to instruct how your assets are distributed when you pass on, you need to take a list of all your assets. List down all your properties, physical assets, etc.
You need to keep all your important documents in one place and let someone know where they’re stored in case something tragic happens to you. Your important papers should include all deeds and titles, official personal documents, your attorney’s and insurance broker’s contact information, and perhaps even a letter for your loved ones.
If you haven’t invested in one, it’s best to start now. Life insurance is often a part of one’s estate planning. It can help a lot when it comes to estate taxes and other forms of taxes and fees. Life insurance is a sure way of giving financial safety to your family and dependents for years to come by replacing lost income due to your death.
Dying without a will, which is called “dying intestate,” could cause great inconvenience to your family and heirs as you’d have no say anymore as to who gets your assets. Having a will is important as it does not only instruct how your assets are distributed, but it also designates guardians for your children. A living will allows you to name someone to be in charge of telling medical personnel of your treatment preferences if you become incapacitated.
Power of Attorney
In case you become incapacitated due to an illness, an accident, or simply age, a power of attorney would allow you to have someone make decisions for you. You can select a health care power of attorney for health/medical decisions and a separate financial power of attorney for financial decisions. Your living will would work with your health care power of attorney to ensure that your medical preferences are followed and that someone would make health decisions for you.
Complete Estate Plan
Now that you have all your important documents, your estate plan is complete. Estate planning is technically listing down all instructions to manage one’s assets in case of death or incapacitation. It includes settling estate taxes and bequeathing assets to heirs. It also includes instructions to manage one’s financial obligations. Most estate planning involves an attorney to ensure that everything is done legally and properly. To avoid any issues and confusion, you should discuss your estate plan with everyone involved.
No one wants to think about their eventual or untimely death or any form of incapacitation, but it’s best for you and your family to plan ahead just in case. Planning and preparing in case of tragedy can be mentally and emotionally heavy tasks, but you don’t have to do it all alone. If you are ready to start taking steps but find it too technical or overwhelming, it’s best to call an estate planning lawyer to help you out.