Age Gracefully With A Plan In Place

Estate planning tools extend beyond simple wills

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Estate Planning |

If you already have a will drafted, kudos to you for being proactive. Widespread estimates indicate that as few as one in three Americans have a will in place. As a result, your efforts have allowed you to outshine your peers when it comes to the estate planning process.

However, your estate plan may not yet be complete. If you only have a will in place, you’re missing critical elements of a basic – yet comprehensive – estate planning strategy.

The contents of a comprehensive, basic estate plan

There are a variety of estate planning resources that you could potentially take advantage of in order to better facilitate certain practical and financial goals. For example, you could set up one or more trusts to minimize your estate tax obligations, provide for family members with special needs and allow assets to bypass the probate process.

Yet, these additional resources are optional. The elements that are essential to every estate plan include at least one power-of-attorney designation and an advance healthcare directive. Both of these resources will only go into effect if you are incapacitated due to illness or injury in ways that render you incapable of legally and/or practically advocating on behalf of your own interests.

By proactively indicating your wishes regarding medical care and who should assume authority over your affairs if you cannot manage them, you can better ensure that you benefit from approaches of your choosing, not approaches approved by the state’s discretion.

If you do not yet have a comprehensive estate plan in place, consider seeking legal guidance to better ensure that any “gaps” in your plan are properly addressed before your efforts become urgent business for you and/or your loved ones. When it comes to estate planning, your interests are only going to be as protected as you are proactive about safeguarding them.