For some people, it is easy to delay estate planning because they don’t think that it affects them. Many people only worry about a last will when considering their estate and will, therefore, presume that if they fail to act, it won’t be their personal problem.
While it is true that it will be your family members that have to bear the burden of an intestate estate if you die without a last will, they aren’t the only ones left without protection. A comprehensive estate plan includes many documents beyond just a last will and testament that serve to protect you as the testator.
A living will protects you from the wrong medical decisions or financial issues
One of the most important things to include in an estate plan is a living will. A living will is a collection of documents that outline your expectations and wishes if you wind up incapacitated. Strokes, comas because of car accidents and embolisms are all examples of situations that might leave you alive but unable to communicate your medical issues with others.
A living will often includes an advance medical directive that discusses your preferences, as well as power of attorney documents to authorize someone to make decisions. When you can’t speak because you aren’t conscious, you won’t be able to handle your household affairs either. Financial power of attorney documents are often included in living wills so that someone you trust can access certain financial accounts and pay your bills when you can’t do so.
Estate planning can help you connect with care later in life
A comprehensive estate plan won’t just allocate assets to your loved ones after your death and discuss your medical wishes. It will also look at the long-term implications of aging and dying on you and the people you love.
For example, if there’s a possibility that you might need long-term care as you get older, estate planning can include Medicaid planning. That process helps diminish your personal ownership of assets through gifts or the creation of trust so that you can get the health benefits you need as you grow older.
The sooner you begin estate planning, the more benefit you will derive from having peace of mind because you have protected yourself and the people you love.