Estate planning is much more than deciding who gets what. Creating an estate plan is the same as creating a big instruction book; here are 14 things you can do with your estate plan. You can give instruction to:
- Keep your children from being disinherited, if you are in a blended family.
- Authorize a trusted helper to pay your bills and manage your assets, if you cannot.
- Choose who will make medical decisions for you, if you cannot.
- Keep your children’s inheritances from going to their divorcing spouses.
- Keep your spouse from putting your assets in joint names with a new spouse.
- Avoid probate, keep your affairs private, and save a ton of money in legal and executor fees.
- Have a caretaker take care of your pet, so he or she is not euthanized or put in a shelter.
- Appoint guardians for your minor children in case you are incapacitated or die.
- Minimize or avoid the federal estate tax.
- Save up to 8 lives by being an organ donor.
- Avoid being hooked up to life support machines or experiencing other fruitless medical heroics, if you are in an end-stage medical condition.
- Make sure your health care documents are available when you need them by using the services of an online medical document storage company such as Docubank (www.docubank.com).
- Protecting your surviving spouse and children’s inheritances from being seized by creditors or divorcing spouses.
- Make a donation to beloved charities.
If you don’t have an estate plan or it’s not up-to-date, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney to make sure your instructions are carried out. Your next step is to call our office to schedule a consultation at 858-792-5988. We look forward to hearing from you.