When you are in the middle of a period of crisis in your life, you may face uncertainties about the future that overwhelm you and fill you with fear or concern. Now is the time to have discussions with your family and loved ones about your end-of-life planning, so they know what your wishes and plans are in an emergency situation.
When protecting your wishes and family in the event of an emergency, you will want to focus on several important choices in your estate planning. But what are they?
Matters your fiduciary handles
The American Bar Association discusses how you will manage your affairs after your death. It also asks other important questions that you need answers to, such as: who makes the financial decisions when you no longer can? Your fiduciary handles these matters, acting to your benefit after your death. They pay your unpaid bills and expenses, notify creditors of potential delays, and file your tax returns, among other duties.
Your durable power of attorney
Who makes the medical choices for you, then? If you have a living will established, this means you can pick a durable power of attorney, who will have the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. They only step in if you lack the physical or mental capacity to make decisions on your own, such as if you fall into a vegetative state or are in a coma.
Finally, how can you lessen burdens on your family? The fiduciary will use assets from your estate to pay administration expenses. These expenses might include attorney and accountant fees, insurance premiums, funeral expenses and more. Thus, you should plan as many of these arrangements ahead of time as possible to reduce the stress your fiduciary will handle.