During times of crisis, the uncertainty of your future or those of your loved ones may be overwhelming. Although personal conversations about the end of your life may be uncomfortable, they are essential to have with your family. This is a good time to reflect on whether you have plans in place for your estate.
There are several important estate planning choices you should think about to protect your wishes and your family in the face of emergency situations.
Who will make my financial decisions should the unthinkable happen?
The person you select to act for your benefit, your fiduciary, will handle your financial matters after your death. As part of the duties, your fiduciary will pay unpaid expenses or bills, file a number of tax returns and notify any creditors of delays, among other responsibilities.
Who will make medical decisions for me if I become incapacitated?
If you elect to establish a living will, you can choose an individual to specifically make your medical treatment decisions. This durable power of attorney you select will have the authority to make these medical decisions if you do not have the legal capacity to do so because of your mental or physical state.
What plans can I make to lessen the burden on my family?
In the event of your passing, the fiduciary will use assets from your estate to pay any expenses that incur from the administration of the trust or estate. These expenses can include attorney’s fees, accountant’s fees, appraisal fees, insurance premiums and funeral expenses. Since these costs all come out of your estate, planning your funeral arrangements ahead of time, for example, can help ease the strain on your grieving survivors.
Planning and working with an attorney to prepare your estate can bring you peace of mind even in the midst of emergencies. If you cannot go to the attorney’s office because you find yourself in a serious situation, you can use concierge emergency planning services and an attorney will make house calls or hospital visits, rush estate plans and do deathbed planning.