Many people can feel put off by the idea of planning their end-of-life affairs. This feeling may contribute to the fact that the majority of adults do not have a will. If you are among this majority, you may want to consider getting those affairs in order before it is too late.
Certainly, the idea of thinking about your death or possible incapacitation is not lighthearted. However, if you do not plan ahead, you could put yourself and your loved ones in a difficult predicament. Even if you are just at the point of gaining information about estate planning, you have already taken a useful step in the right direction.
Making your own decisions
One of the most beneficial aspects of estate planning is that it allows you to make your own decisions about your life and estate. If you have children, you can use your will to name a guardian for them in the event that both parents pass away or become incapacitated. You can also decide how you want your medical care handled and who can make decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot do so due to injury or illness.
If you do not create an estate plan, the court typically makes these important decisions for you. You may not think that it is a big deal, but remember, the court could put your children in the care of a guardian you would not have chosen yourself. The court could also allow someone to take over decision-making on your behalf that you may not have chosen. Why leave it up to chance?
Tools to help you plan
When it comes to making these decisions yourself, it is not enough to simply tell someone else your wishes. You need to utilize the right planning tools that make your decisions legally binding. As mentioned, your will is a useful tool that can allow you to appoint a guardian for your kids and an executor for your estate. You may also want to consider the following tools:
- Living will or advanced medical directive
- Medical and financial powers of attorney
- Payable on death accounts
Depending on the exact details of your estate, the tools that best suit your needs may differ. In order to fully understand these planning options and how making your own decisions could save a lot of confusion and conflict in the future, you may wish to consult with a Louisiana attorney.