Now that the kids are back in school, and families are returning to more structure and routine, there is no time like the present to cross estate planning off of your to-do list. The next time you tell your kids to go and do their homework, you can tell them that you’re even doing yours!
Below are 5 essential estate planning strategies that your family should implement or update right away.
Will. Look around you right now. Everything you see has to be distributed in the event of your death. Your Will names the person you want to handle it all and can also indicate who you want to receive it all. It also names guardians for your minor children. If you don’t have a Will, a Judge decides who is in charge of your affairs and State law provides who receives everything you own. Take control now by getting your Will in place today.
Emergency Plan. If you have minor children at home, you need a comprehensive set of documents to ensure they are taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what. Not just for the long-term, but also in the immediate term if and when something happens to you. A Kids ICE Plan does just that. Only estate planning law firms who focus on families with young children have the skills, training, and resources to create a comprehensive Kids ICE Plan for your family, so call us today if you do not have one in place already.
Advance Medical Directive. Also known as a health care proxy, durable power of attorney for healthcare or living will, this document provides the legal right for the person of your choice (your representative) to make healthcare decisions for you in case you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for yourself. Plus, it also lets that person know HOW you want decisions to be made if you cannot make them for yourself. Without an Advance Medical Directive in place, your family could have their hands tied when it comes to ensuring you get the best care possible, in the way you would want.
Power of Attorney. In the event you cannot communicate, your Power of Attorney will allow your family to gain access to your financial accounts so they can pay your bills and manage your financial affairs. Without this in place, they’ll face an expensive, long and public court process to take matters into their hands. Don’t leave your family in that position, handle this today.
Trust. If you own any property that would go through the probate process (a home, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, business assets, investment real estate, and other investment assets), you’ll want to make sure to have a Trust set up as soon as possible so your family isn’t stuck dealing with an expensive, unnecessary, long, and totally public Court process in the event of your death. A revocable living trust puts the people you know, love and trust in control without having to go to Court.
If you’re ready to do the right thing by your family, call your Newport Beach Estate Planning Attorneys at the Meier Law Firm to schedule a time for an Achieve Your Dreams Planning Session. Our Client Services Director Bonnie Johnson would be happy to help you get scheduled or answer any questions you have. Bonnie can be reached at 949.718.0420 Mondays through Fridays between 9am and 4pm. Just mention this article and your Session will be free with no pressure or obligation whatsoever, as long as you reserve your session by September 18, 2015.
Or, if you’re the ‘do it yourself’ type and like to do your homework ahead of time, call our Client Services Director Bonnie Johnson at 949.718.0420 today and request a free copy of Laura Meier’s book, Good Parents Worry, Great Parents Plan. It has a lot of information you’ll want to know to prepare the best estate plan possible for your family. We’d be happy to send you your free copy with no obligation whatsoever as long as you reserve your copy by September 18, 2015.