National Estate planning Awareness Week is during October and aims to highlight the importance of having an estate plan. Estate planning is not only important for the estate planner, it is also important for the estate planner’s loved ones which is which is why everyone should understand the value of developing an estate plan.
Why estate planning is important
Estate planning can help address death and incapacity concerns for the estate planner and their loved ones. An estate plan is essentially a collection of several documents that specify how the estate planner’s assets will be distributed and how health and financial decisions will be made if they become incapacitated. It can help clarify complications loved ones might otherwise face without the help of an estate plan and can also potentially help with estate taxes and probate concerns.
Documents an estate planner may want to consider as part of their estate plan includes a will, trust, powers of attorney and living will. A living will and power of attorney for healthcare are used to navigate medical decisions if the estate planner becomes incapacitated. Likewise, a power of attorney for financial affairs is used to direct the estate planner’s financial affairs if they are incapacitated. Trusts can potentially serve different purposes as part of an estate but will and trusts generally help to distribute the estate planner’s assets to their beneficiaries, ensuring their loved ones are taken care of according to their wishes.
Your estate plan is your plan for the future
In many ways, estate planning is simply planning for the future and allows the estate planner to rest easy and confident in their legacy. The chaos for family members that can potentially result from not having an estate plan helps to illustrate the importance of an estate plan. For that reason, estate planners of all types should understand the value of having an estate plan in place.