5 Estate Planning Elements Everyone Should Know
With a vast majority of the adults across the US, living without an actual will, estate planning, despite being one of the most important, is often the most ignored aspect of the legal system. The world isn’t a certain place, and while you might be safe and sound today, that may not be the case tomorrow – all manners of tragedy could strike at any moment. And while this might be a bleak outlook on things, it is the truth, and often times when tragedy does strike, many families simply aren’t ready for it. Causing assets to be lost and often, fought over – with no true guidance in site. This can often leave the fate of your loved ones up a judge, someone who is a complete stranger and knows not one thing about those you have left behind. In a situation where both parents of a child might unfortunately pass away, the child’s fate is again, left up to a judge. In a situation of a divorcee getting remarried, there can be issues with inheritances. The fact is that with proper estate planning, during a situation of death or incapacitation, an individual can ensure their family is well taken care of and there are no disruptions to their quality of life. Hiring an estate planning lawyer, like Anissa Morris, can help you and your loved ones to avoid such unfortunate outcomes.
An experienced estate planning lawyer, like Anissa Morris can help you to draft a will and trust – ensuring proper dispersion of your assets to your loved ones. According to estate planning lawyer, Anissa Morris, if you are married, your assets will go to your spouse or split between your spouse and children. If you are single and without any children, your estate goes to your parents and possibly your siblings. One of the most common issues with not having a will, is in the instance when a couple is unmarried. The surviving person will not be legally entitled to any assets, but rather they will go to the individual’s biological family members. Estate planning is an essential part of life, that everyone should consider no matter how much or how few assets you might have. To better help you understand the process, here are 8 essential elements to the process.
· What is a Will?
According to estate planning lawyer, Anissa Morris, by definition a will outlines where your assets, those outside a trust, will be distributed. This includes all your property and belongings, cars, homes, bank accounts, clothes, and more.
· What is a Trust?
A living trust is a document that 1) allows an individual to pass on assets without having to go through a public probate process, and 2) it also allows someone else to manage affairs in the event you fall into a coma or are incapacitated.
· What happens with guardianship for minors?
In the event you and your spouse should pass, it is vital to have a plan for your children, especially if they are minors. With the help of an estate planning lawyer, like Anissa Morris, you can ensure money and other assets are placed within a trust for them. Also, you can outline who you would like to have guardianship over them and be their primary caregivers once you pass.
· What is Power of Attorney? (medical)
In a medical sense, power of attorney names someone to make medical decisions for you, in the event you are unable to make them for yourself. This gives you decision making abilities for treatment plans, and major decisions like choosing to end life support, and more.
· Power of Attorney (financial)
This is similar to a medical power of attorney, but it allows someone to manage your financials in the event you become incapacitated. This ensures there are no financial issues with your bills and debts, as well as financial assets, if you can’t manage them.
For more information about estate planning and other legal services, contact Anissa Morris today.