A will is not just for the rich.
The Huffington Post’s recent article confirms that “You Don’t Have to Own an Estate to Do Estate Planning!” As the article notes, estate planning concerns creating your directions, so your family understands what to do and when, if you’re not around to tell them.
More than money, an estate plan is about making sure your family is protected, making sure your wishes are executed and providing peace of mind for all.
The parts are very straightforward, but every plan is different. You need an advance directive that includes a living will. This document identifies the medical care you want to receive, if you are unable to communicate and a medical power of attorney, which designates an individual to coordinate your wishes. Failing to do this could mean your care could be left to the interpretation of healthcare professionals and family members. You should also draft a financial power of attorney.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you create a plan that protects you, while maximizing your investment potential and minimizing your tax liability.
Here's another way to be sure your intentions are known by your family—an ethical will. An ethical will is different than your living will. In fact, it’s not really a will, but a statement that expresses your love, your hopes, your dreams and your wishes. It may be a letter or letters to individual people you love. You can also create a video or a scrapbook.
An ethical will can contain your advice for the future. This can include direction and advice to guardians for the care of your minor children.
Repeat after me: estate planning isn’t just for the rich. It’s about protection for your loved ones and your legacy.
Reference: Huffington Post (August 7, 2017) “You Don’t Have to Own an Estate to Do Estate Planning!”