Maybe you are newly engaged and your fiance has brought up estate planning to you. Perhaps one of your parents just went into hospice care and you find yourself thinking about the end of their life and eventually, the end of yours.
While there are many experiences that can remind people about the importance of estate planning, aversion to the process can prevent people from taking this very important step for themselves. They may assume that Georgia state law will do a good enough job of protecting their loved ones when they die or that they don’t have enough resources or dependent family members to make the creation of a plan worthwhile.
What are some of the most compelling reasons to create a formal estate plan?
To manage your own finances and health care
Issues with mental health, cognitive decline caused by age or traumatic injuries could all leave you incapacitated and unable to take care of yourself. Although people who know you or professionals providing your care can seek a guardianship over you, you will have no say in what those individuals do regarding your medical treatment or your financial situation.
If you plan ahead and advance directives and powers of attorney, you can stay in control over your property and your healthcare choices regardless of what happened in the future.
To protect your children
Your kids can be in a very vulnerable physician if anything happens to you while they are still minors. Estate planning helps ensure that they have resources to pay for their basic cost of living expenses. You can also name a guardian in your will to take over their care if something happens to you. In fact, you can even create a trust so that someone other than the guardian is the one managing your children’s inheritance.
To take the stress off of those closest to you
In a medical emergency or after your death, your spouse or children may have to make very difficult choices. From anatomical gifts to how to distribute your property, there are many issues that can be difficult for the people who love you to handle without your guidance. Your estate planning documents can provide information about your preferences while you are still alive and also after your death.
A good estate plan can help you qualify for Medicaid, reduce your risk of estate taxes and help clarify inheritance rights to the people in your family. Taking the time to draft a thorough estate plan can be one of the smartest moves you ever make.