What is estate planning and just why is it so important? Estate planning is what a person engages in while they are making out a last will and testament. They determine what will happen to all of the assets they own and who will benefit from such assets. Therefore, estate planning is extremely important, if you want to leave specific individuals your assets, like your home, your vehicle(s) or any form of money, you will need to write a legal will and indicate your selected beneficiaries.
So, what do you have to do to get your will written? There are several steps you will need to take in order to cover all the bases. Before you even begin writing your will however, you will need to give due consideration to who you will choose to carry out your wishes. Remember a will is nothing more than a document that expresses your wishes in written form – you will need someone the get everything done for you. Thus, you will need to choose a special person that you distinctly trust. This person will be the executor (male) or the executrix (female) of your last will and testament.
Next, you will need to speak to a lawyer that handles wills and estates about writing up your will. A lawyer can assist you with all the legalities and can advise you of what you can and cannot do in terms of planning the distribution of your assets. You can find a lawyer easily enough using your telephone directory or you can find one on the Internet. Better yet, you can even find one through the recommendations of another. Either way, the sooner you begin planning for your will the better off you will be.
After you have located a lawyer, you will sit down with the attorney and go through any documentation pertaining to your assets. At this time, you may also want to consider the possibility of creating a Power of Attorney, a statement giving control of your assets to your pre-selected individual if something should happen to you while you are still living and you, for whatever reason, cannot speak for yourself. Also, you may want to consider creating a Health Care Proxy, letting whoever is in charge when you can’t be, decide the type of hospital treatment you would prefer. For instance, if you are seriously ill, you can elect to notify the hospital and doctors via your health care proxy that you do not want to be resuscitated.
Finally, during the process of creating a will, you may want to establish one or more trust funds, referred to as “discretionary trusts” to those individuals that may be too young to manage any assets you give them in the event of your death.
A will is crucial if you want to make sure that your family is taken care of in the event of your death. With a will, you can prearrange your funeral and the payments required for such arrangements. You can also determine what assets are to be sold and divided among your loved ones. Ultimately, the act of creating a will takes the burden of worrying off your friends and family during their time of grief.