What do you want to change in 2021? According to YouGov, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are a commitment to exercising more, saving money, eating better, and losing weight.
While these are all positive commitments, 2020 has also taught us that the unexpected can happen at any time. We can’t predict the future, but preparing in advance can mean the difference between thriving and merely coping.
Enter estate planning. In this blog, we’ll share four important reasons why putting together an estate plan should be on your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2021.
- You Never Know What Can Happen
When 2020 started, no one could reasonably have predicted how the pandemic would change our lives everywhere. When you have an estate plan in place, you benefit from strategies for income replacement as well as peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are secure financially if something happens to you.
Examples of these estate planning strategies include:
- Living Trust
- Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Directive/ Living Will
- You Control What Happens to Your Assets
Having the above documents alone is not enough. The title of assets should be coordinated with legal documents. The title is how your assets are owned or who is the beneficiary. If you pass away without having the title of your assets and your legal documents coordinated together, the probate laws of will indicate what happens to your assets. The results may not be what you expect or even want. By working with an estate planning lawyer to help you coordinate the title of your assets with your legal documents, you can specify who receives your property and even under what terms without having to go through probate.
- You Can Specify Your Wishes if You get sick.
If you are incapacitated due to illness or injury, you may not be able to manage your assets or communicate your wishes to your healthcare provider. With a revocable living trust and an advance directive for healthcare, you can state what your wishes are, including medical treatments you do and do not want and life-sustaining measures. Your designated Trustees/agents will ensure that your family and medical team honors your wishes until you regain capacity. (If that doesn’t happen, an advance directive can also appoint a guardian to manage your affairs going forward.)
- Your Estate Details Can Stay Private
In today’s digital world, few things stay private, including your estate details. When your will is probated, its contents become public record. By setting up a revocable living trust and funding it with your assets, you can bypass probate and distribute your property to beneficiaries without the details becoming publicly available afterward.
Start the New Year With a New Estate Plan
Although the idea of estate planning can seem overwhelming, Attorney J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C. is committed to making the process as easy as possible. He has years of experience helping clients from all walks of life identify the right plan for their needs and develop it as their circumstances change. If you have any questions or would like to start your estate plan now, call 866-253-6994.