Estate Planning is For Everyone
In uncertain times we should be sure of one thing. That our loved ones and family won't have more of a headache then they need to have when you are no longer around. In order to make sure this happens, a few bits need to be put into place in before you can sleep soundly at night knowing everything is in order in case the worst happens.
The first document that everyone should have prepared, regardless of their stage in life, is a health care power of attorney. This document allows trusted family members and friends to make important medical decisions should you no longer be able to make them yourself. These documents must be signed and notarized in order to be effective.
The second document that everyone should have prepared is a durable power of attorney. This ensures that a trusted someone can do things like pay your bills, manage bank accounts and other financial matters should you become incapacitated. This document also needs to be signed and notarized prior to it needing to be in effect in order for it to be effective. Ideally the agent for your health care and your durable power of attorney should be different people if possible and they also should be local to you, otherwise it will be hard for someone to jump in immediately to take care of your needs.
Next, in order to be sure your wishes are followed when you are no longer here a will or a revocable living trust is important as well. Especially if you own any property. If you would like to avoid probate and handle matters while you are still alive, a revocable living trust is the best bet for you. If you aren't worried about probate, then a will is just fine as well.
Finally, with the new HIPAA laws in place, it is important to get a HIPAA waiver completed in addition to your health care powers of attorney so that your medical records can be disclosed to trusted family and friends. Again, this needs to be completed before you become incapacitated.
Our program can help you with all of these documents! Come back to this blog to learn more estate planning facts and to best prepare yourself and your family for the future.