Some things we can do on the fly, spontaneously, on the spur of the moment. Other events require planning to make them run smoothly. Estate planning, as the name states, is about planning. Unless you are a psychic and can tell the exact moment you will need an estate plan, you need an estate plan NOW.
An Estate Plan Helps Your Family
Preparing a Will, general durable power of attorney, and advanced directive may not seem that important. However, it may help to think about what each of these documents does:
- A Will sets out the final wishes of the testator. This includes naming an executor, making specific gifts, naming a guardian if there are minor children involved, and more. When someone dies without leaving a Will, most of their property will be passed to heirs through a probate proceeding.
- A general durable power of attorney names a trusted person to handle the principal’s affairs if necessary. Without this important document, family members may have to ask a court to appoint a guardian or conservator to care for you if you become incapacitated.
- Advanced directives inform families and doctors of your wishes regarding medical treatment. Again, without an advanced directive, your family may have to ask a guardian to be appointed.
Because you thoughtfully prepared an estate plan, your family may avoid the stress and inconvenience of a prolonged court case.
Future Is Uncertain
Passing away is a certainty. We just usually don’t know when and how. That’s possibly the most compelling reason you need an estate plan now. An estate plan needs to already be in place before you need it.
How many times do we read about people, sometimes celebrities, who have passed away unexpectedly. And how many times did those same people not have the estate planning they needed? Advance planning would have helped their families deal with their loss.
Do It While You Can
Your estate plan doesn’t just deal with death. Your general durable power of attorney and advance directive can give you and your family peace of mind now. Injuries, serious medical conditions, and accidents can occur at any time, at any age. Make sure if the unthinkable happens to you, that your plans are in place.
Medicaid Is a Complex Program
Schedule a consultation with one of the attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law, and find out where you stand. Our phone number is 256-251-2137, or you may want to use the Contact Form on our website. We have offices in in Anniston and Birmingham and assist clients in communities like Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Irondale, and Calera.