An estate plan is one of the most important plans you’ll make while alive. This plan can help secure your future including the future of your loved ones. Should you become incapacitated, your health care power of attorney, a component of an estate plan, will dictate how you want to be cared for.
Without an estate plan, your family and loved ones will pass through several difficulties (like the ever-challenging probate process) in an attempt to claim your assets. There will be a lot of law suits, disagreements, and disputes within the family. With an estate plan, your wishes regarding all of your assets will be clear. Let us take a look at what estate planning is:
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a household name. In several parts of the world, individuals plan their estate to secure or transfer their assets/ wealth to their heirs. With that said, what does estate planning entail?
Estate planning is a plan done in anticipation of an individual’s death or incapacitation. The planning includes the transfer of assets to heirs, the payment of unpaid debts, the settlement of estate taxes, etc. Most estate plans are created with the help of an estate planning attorney.
If you reside in Buffalo, NY, and you need an estate plan, don’t hesitate to contact an estate planning attorney Buffalo, NY, for your estate plan.
- Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a very important and common estate planning document. This document allows you to select someone who will act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. This individual will make financial and legal decisions for you, all in your best interest. If you fail to create this document, the court will step in and designate an individual who will make those decisions for you.
- Health care power of attorney
After incapacitation, you may be unable to make medical decisions yourself. A health care power of attorney will allow you to select an individual who will make those medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. If you fail to select a health care power of attorney, the court will select one for you; and the individual may end up making certain medical decisions you don’t like. So, what will it be? Create a health care power of attorney and select an individual who will make those medical decisions for you or let the court do the selection?
Other estate planning documents are:
- Digital asset trust
- Revocable living trust
- Letter of intent
A letter of intent contains those request, financial details, instructions, and other important information that don’t belong in your will. You can use it to pass your wishes regarding how you want things to be executed after death. For instance, if any individual wants to be cremated after death, they can write it down in a letter of intent. You don’t need an attorney to draft a letter of intent as the letter won’t carry the legal weight of a will.
- Last Will and Testament
A will is simply an estate planning document that gives you the power to decide who inherits your estate. With a will, you can also indicate the portion of your assets you wish to transfer to a beneficiary. Also, with a will you can designate an estate executor, who is an individual who will act on your behalf after death. This individual will ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and everything regarding your estate plan and probate are settled.
If you wish, you can include any funeral provisions in your will. All these are what makes a will one of the most important estate planning documents. Most importantly, you can use a will to name guardians for your minor children and pets.
Who is an estate planning lawyer?
An estate planning lawyer is an individual who specializes in handling estate planning matters. These individuals have the knowledge, experience, and resources needed to make a topnotch estate plan. If you want to plan your estate, don’t hesitate to contact an estate planning lawyer Buffalo NY.