Only old, rich people should worry about estate planning. Estate planning is so simple that you can do it yourself. Estate planning is intimidating. There are a number of misconceptions out there about estate planning. While you may have had these thoughts cross your mind in regard to estate planning, it is important to learn the facts about what estate planning is and why you should not wait.
In its most basic form, estate planning is a set of legal documents that instructs others regarding your care and assets if you are not able to speak for yourself. These legal documents may include a will, a living will, appointment of a health care agent, power of attorney, and others. Each of these documents serves a different purpose but they all direct or empower another person to make decisions on your behalf regarding your assets, your care, or even the care of your minor children. In other words, they say who is in charge and this is what I want to happen. While this process may seem scary, estate planning can be quite empowering.
Many people may hear the phrase “estate plan” and automatically think that this only applies to those with money. However, “estate” is just a legal term for anything that you own. Whether you are single, married, divorced, remarried, have siblings, have kids, or anything else you can still benefit from an estate plan. Developing an estate plan can ensure that you are prepared for anything that may come about.
While many people assume that estate planning should only apply to older people, estate planning should be done by anyone 18 or older. When individuals reach the age of 18, they are able to legally make decisions for themselves. As a result, courts, doctors, or any other people needing to know the individual’s wishes will turn to estate planning documents first rather than looking to a parent or close friend to determine what the individual would have wanted if he or she was able to make the decision. Health care directives like power of attorney or living wills can ensure that your specific wishes are carried through.
Similarly, estate planning is also important to those who are established in their careers and may have children. Individuals with children can direct who would take care of them and manage the money that they inherit if anything were to ever happen. You can also specify at what age the children receive money if anything were to ever happen. Many people like to do this to ensure that the children are mature enough to handle the money. Otherwise, children would receive the lump sum at the seemingly young age of 18.
Getting started with estate planning can begin with an upfront conversation with your loved ones. Determine what your wishes or desires are and who you would want to carry them out in case that you would not be able to do so. You can then meet with an estate planning attorney. The estate planning attorney can advise you on what would be best for your particular situation. The attorney can then draft all of your estate planning documents to ensure that you are prepared for whatever situation life brings.
If you would like to speak with a Tennessee estate planning attorney regarding your estate plan, be sure to contact The Higgins Firm. Our Nashville estate planning lawyers would be happy to meet with you regarding your estate plan. Don’t hesitate. Contact The Higgins Firm today.