Estate planning is not only for the wealthy.
Planning is an important part of life.
You plan meals.
You plan vacations.
According to a recent article in The Martha’s Vineyard Times titled “Estate planning,” you should also plan your estate.
Estate planning is not simply about passing along wealth.
It is about protecting the ones you love, beginning with yourself.
Just like the safety briefing at the beginning of every commercial airline flight ... you need to put the yellow oxygen mask on yourself first.
What does this mean in the context of estate planning?
You should have a durable power of attorney for your finances and also one for your healthcare.
This will allow someone you trust to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
If you are married, your spouse will be the most likely choice, but you should appoint successors, too.
While you are at it, be sure to create a health care treatment directive.
What does this do?
It allows you to detail your wishes for treatments you would like to receive and those you would like to refuse, if you are unable to communicate your own wishes.
This will take pressure off family members because they will know your desires and make medical decisions accordingly.
You will also need to plan for your property when you pass away.
Although this is not the most enjoyable thing to plan, it is exceedingly beneficial both for you and your loved ones.
You will provide your loved ones with stability and peace of mind during a difficult time.
You will be able to make your wishes legally binding.
You can minimize tax consequences.
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney is an investment.
Your family will reap priceless returns because you did proper planning.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Martha’s Vineyard Times (December 5, 2017) “Estate planning”