For most of our lives, we avoid thinking about and planning for the inevitable end. It seems like a distant future reality, until we hit midlife and start thinking about and planning for the future. Future planning and estate planning can take a weight of concern off your shoulders, but ultimately they aren’t for your benefit, they’re for the benefit of your loved ones. You don’t have to have millions of dollars or own multiple homes to develop an estate plan. We believe everyone should do it.
Here are 3 ways estate planning benefits your loved ones:
1. It Empowers Them To Make Medical Decisions
Before we begin talking about life after your death, we should discuss an element of estate planning referred to as Healthcare Proxy or Power of Attorney. This document allows someone you trust to make decisions regarding your medical care when you are no longer able to do so. Health care surrogates can access medical records and are responsible for making decisions they believe you would make if you were able. If you have not already made this designation, now is the time to do so, your loved ones will thank you.
2. It Helps Avoid Conflict Over Your Belongings
We’ve all heard horror stories of families who end up in conflict over personal items or money that their deceased loved one left behind. You’re not in control of how your children behave when you’re gone, but you can do something to provide them some clarity regarding your wishes. The estate planning process includes the development of a will that specifies how your financial assets are to be distributed after your death. You can also include a supplemental document called a personal property memorandum which allows you to gift tangible items. When your intentions are well-documented, your family can spend their time celebrating your life rather than arguing over your belongings.
3. It Lightens The Load For Your Grieving Loved Ones
You may have experienced before the difficulty of making important decisions while grieving the death of a parent or loved one. At the point of deepest sadness, your family is expected to plan a funeral, choose a casket, order flowers, and more. Thankfully, estate planning allows you to include wishes like these in your will. In some areas, you may be able to pre-pay for your burial or cremation. This may seem like a small thing, but the more work you do early on, the less your loved ones will need to do after you pass.
4. It Enables You To Support The Causes You Love
Are you passionate about philanthropy? Perhaps you’re a patron of your local theater or museum or a member of your church. Estate planning allows you to leave money or property to an organization that you love.
We all live busy lives, and it’s easy to find other things to fill your time that are more exciting than estate planning. However, when you take the time now to make your wishes known, your family will reap the benefits later on. For more information about the estate planning process or to schedule a free consultation with our office, contact us today.