Estate planning enables you to leave a legacy behind, and to provide for your family members even after your death. As such, it’s tempting to define estate planning as something you do for other people. To an extent, this is true—yet it’s also important to note that estate planning is something you do for yourself. In fact, it could be argued that you are the most important person in your estate plan.
To put it differently, estate planning isn’t just about what happens when you die. It’s also about what happens while you’re still alive—specifically, if you find yourself medically incapacitated in some way. Your estate plan is where you make your wishes known, and provide direction for your family members on how to handle this situation.
There are a number of estate planning documents you can use here:
- An Advanced Health Care Directive. Also called a Medical Power of Attorney, this estate planning document lets you name the person who will make medical decisions for you, should you be medically incapacitated and unable to make them yourself.
- A Living Will. Put most succinctly, the living will specifies the medical treatment you do and do not wish to receive if you are close to death.
- A Durable Power of Attorney. Even if you are gravely ill or incapacitated, you still have financial responsibilities to keep track of—paying your bills, managing your investments, etc. This document appoints someone to do these things on your behalf.
- A Revocable Living Trust. In some scenarios, a Revocable Living Trust is needed, in addition to the Power of Attorney, to avoid legal complications.
As you handle your estate planning, it’s great to think about your loved ones—but make sure you also remember to look after yourself. After all, that’s a big part of what estate planning is for.
Learn more about estate planning from Singh Law Firm.