Essential Components of an Estate Plan

Creating a plan for the disposal of your items after death may feel morbid. However, failing to do so may have dire consequences for your loved ones. It may place an undue and unnecessary burden on those you leave behind. Without letting the legal system know how you want your estate divided when you die, a court may make decisions that go against what you would have wanted. Thus, make sure you are prepared to tackle these fundamental components of an effective estate plan, so you can ensure you take care of those you love even after your death.

Appoint Guardians and Direct Care for Minors

Creating an estate plan after you have children is critical. In a will, you appoint the person or persons you want to take custody of your children after your death. Doing so allows you to choose who you want to take on this responsibility. If left unsaid in an estate plan, a court may give your children to someone you do not wish to raise them. In your estate plan, you can also express your wishes for how your children’s care should progress. For example, if you set up a trust for a private school, the appointed guardian should follow through with this request.

Divide Family Heirlooms Appropriately

Your possessions may include sentimental heirlooms from your family. You want these to go to specific individuals, and naming them in a will is the best way to do it. Your grandmother’s diamond ring may be best in the hands of your youngest child, not your eldest. In your will, you get to direct where your possessions ultimately wind up. It helps to ease fighting between heirs as your wishes are fully known and expressed.

Appoint a Power of Attorney for Your Medical Care

Your estate plan is not reserved for just what happens after your death. You can create documents that dictate how you want your medical care directed should your physical or medical condition remove you from capable decision making. A medical power of attorney document appoints a third party to make decisions on your behalf. This can be an adult child, a sibling, or a spouse. It also sets out how you see the end of your life taking shape. For instance, if you do not want to spend months on artificial life support, then it needs documenting in this way. A power of attorney works with doctors and medical facilities to provide your care.

Estate planning is not fun, but once completed, it should alleviate a burden. Caring for your family can continue after death if you take this action now. Contact an estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Memphis, TN, to start planning today. 

Thanks to Patterson Bray, for their insight into some of the things estate planning can help with.