Estate planning tends to be one of the last topics that gets checked off that financial planning checklist because, let’s face it, we have to think about our own mortality at that point which nobody really wants to think about the day they pass. When we’re talking about estate planning it really is taking care of your family for when you’re gone. When we’re looking at estate documents it’s things like your Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trust, and Medical directors, things like that. 

There are three main points to estate planning. First, is it hopefully reduces the cost and the burden around probate, by clearly outlining your wishes it can hopefully help reduce the fighting among family when trying to divide things up.  Second, is that it will clearly list out your wishes and instructions that you want everybody to follow, not just with your assets in your property but also when it comes to your kids, if you have any. Rather than leaving it up to somebody else to decide you can clearly state what happens with your kids should you not be there. The third piece is you also can layout things like the ‘pull the plug directives’ where it leaves nothing up for interpretation. nothing up for somebody else to make the decision. It takes the burden off somebody else’s shoulders and clearly outlines when why and how you want things to happen should you ever become incapacitated; It also allows for people to take care of things when you get to that state too. 

One thing that we highly recommend is if you’re getting your estate planning documents done that you seek out a Board-Certified Estate Attorney, somebody who has the expertise in drafting estate documents, if not to write them for you at least to look them over to make sure that your wishes are going to be clearly outlined and are going to be followed. If you want to talk about some of this in more detail, if you want to talk about what documents may or may not be right for you, or you need some referrals for estate planning attorneys feel free to reach out to us here at Next Step. we’d love to walk with you through those steps.