People tend to procrastinate when it comes to planning their estates, and there are a number of different reasons for this. For one, contemplating your twilight years and eventual death is not necessarily the most pleasant undertaking. But perhaps the most common reason why people put it off is the simple fact that they don’t know exactly where they should begin.
There are indeed some rather complex combinations of financial instruments that are sometimes utilized by estate planning attorneys, and this can be intimidating. But the fact is that most people really are not going to need anything more than the basics. When you break it down to the rudiments what you need to do is arrange for the transfer of assets to your heirs and make sure that you have addressed the possibility of incapacitation.
Most people are aware of the fact that the transfer of assets is most commonly achieved through the utilization of a last will. This is indeed one avenue that is available, but there are other options available to you as well, such as a revocable living trust. These vehicles are preferred by many and whether or not such a trust is the right choice for you is something that is best discussed with an experienced estate planning attorney.
The matter of possible incapacitation is generally addressed by the execution of a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, and a durable financial power of attorney. With the powers of attorney you appoint individuals of your own choosing to act in your behalf should you become incapacitated and unable to communicate or make sound decisions on your own. With the living will you specifically state what types of medical procedures you would be willing to accept or deny in the event of your incapacitation.
Getting started planning your estate sometimes sounds more daunting than it actually is. When you retain the services of an estate planning attorney he or she will guide you through the process and answer any and all questions that you may have.