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How do I know if I need an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2016 | Estate Planning |

If you have assets, property, children or pets and you care about what happens to them, then you need an estate plan. If you care about the medical treatment that you could receive after suffering a major injury or illness, then you need an estate plan.

The simple answer is that all adults need an estate plan and should revisit and make appropriate updates to their plans regularly.

Why even young, healthy people need an estate plan

All too often, people think that they do not need an estate plan until they are elderly or ill. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The scary — and, for some, exhilarating — truth about life is that we have no idea what will happen tomorrow. Any one of us could be involved in a horrible accident or contract a life-threatening illness without warning.

That’s why we need to be prepared with an estate plan if we want a say in where our assets go, who takes care of our children and whether we want to be kept alive with medical intervention. All of these issues and more can be addressed with estate planning tools such as:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Durable and medical powers of attorney

For example, a will can state who should be granted custody of your minor children or pets if something tragic were to happen to you and the other parent. Without a will, the court would have the ultimate say. You can also create a trust to make sure that your children or pets will be financially supported.

Additionally, a medical power of attorney allows you to choose someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. This not only makes sure that you receive the care you desire, but also helps relieve stress on family members and friends who might not agree on what your wishes would be.

Protect what you care about most in life

No matter where you are at in life with regard to health, age or wealth, an estate plan can help you rest assured that if something tragic happens, the people, animals and things that you care about most in your life will be protected.

If you are still unsure of whether you are in need of an estate plan, contact an estate planning attorney for an initial consultation to learn more.