Some people get scared off by the term "estate planning" because they think it sounds like something only the wealthy need to do. When in truth, one of the greatest gifts you can make for your loved ones is leaving instructions regarding your wishes. Not only for after you die, but in case you can't make health or financial decisions while you're alive.
Remember, it's not always about money, it's about planning to make things easier, for the transfer of your assets and if anything should happen to you.
Wills and Trusts
Your Will is a document that let’s your loved ones know where you'd like your assets to go upon your death. It's essential to have a Will whether you're married, single, a parent, grandparent or childless.
Your life insurance policies, Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k) accounts will automatically go to whomever you name as beneficiaries. (Side note: be sure you've named your beneficiaries and that your choices are up to date.)
A revocable living trust is an estate planning document. Like a Will, it says who'll get your assets when you die. But unlike a Will, it also lets you provide instructions for what you'd like a designated person to do for you while you're alive, if you can't.
Getting one done correctly is complicated and requires naming the trust the beneficiary for each of your assets in it, however we try to make as simple as possible for you and have several reasonably priced packages depending on your situation.
Advance Directives and Living Wills
The flipside of a Will is ensuring that your wishes are carried out while you are alive if you can't due to a serious accident, dementia, stroke, or any sort of debilitating situation.
These documents include a durable health care power of attorney (to appoint someone to make health decisions for you) a financial power of attorney (to make money decisions for you) and a living will (to provide instructions on whether you'd want heroic medical measures to be taken for you).
Many people tend to put these documents off, or feel they’re not necessary, which can lead to devastating circumstances.
If you haven’t touched your legal documents in years, or still need to do them, it may be time to consider updating your existing documents or write new ones.
COVID-19 has caused scores of people to write Wills and make critical estate planning decisions about who will oversee their medical care and finances if they become ill or incapacitated. Yet, more than 50 percent of people age 55-plus do not have a Will or the other key estate planning documents they might need during the pandemic.
If you want to learn more about estate planning documents, click HERE.
Or schedule your FREE consultation today!
Bob Michaels is extremely passionate about providing the best possible legal experience for his clients, and focuses his practice on elder law, estate planning, business, and real estate matters. Bob has been able to provide piece of mind and a solid foundation to many folks in the Puget Sound area over the years and wants to provide resources and relevant information whenever he can.