What is Estate Planning? Part 2: Determine Your Wishes

What is Estate Planning - TJ Woods - Worcester, MAThough we never like to think about death, it is something that we each need to prepare for. In all likelihood you will be leaving behind something of value, not to mention those you love. What happens to those you love? What happens to everything of value which you have accumulated over the years? We all except and hope to live long lives, but it is prudent to be prepared for the unpredictable future. This is the value of estate planning.

If you haven’t read part one yet, click here to learn where to begin.

Consult With An Expert

At some point in the process, it is important to consult with an expert estate planner. You may also be wise to speak with your attorney or accountant. Making sure your estate is planned properly is key. This isn’t a do it yourself project. Without proper wording and legalese, your plan may not be legal or hold up in court. A qualified estate planner will ensure that your wishes are followed as closely as possible while also being a legal document.

Health Care Power of Attorney

You will need to choose a health care power of attorney who will decide what happens to you if you are unable to make medical decisions. You should also have a living will which helps medical staff determine what to do if you are on life support. Unfortunately, too many people wait until it is too late

Financial Power of Attorney

In addition, you will need to choose a financial power of attorney, this person will be responsible for handling your financial affairs. It would be prudent if this person had some knowledge of finance and investment. This person doesn’t have to be an investing guru or a professional planner, per se. The key is to make sure you sit down with an expert to think through exactly what you want done with your interests. As long as clear instructions are left, someone with a good knowledge base should be sufficient.

Writing a Will

When writing your will, how in depth you need to go will depend on at what stage of life you are at. There are a few very important things that a good will covers. You may need more or less depending on your circumstances. It will leave your property to the people you choose. In addition, a guardian should be named to watch over minor children. If your children are minors, you will need to name someone to take care of any property you bequeath your children. Finally, a person, commonly called executor, will need to be appointed to ensure that your wishes and will are carried out.

If you have not already started planning for your future, you should consider doing so. It’s important to have your matters in orders so that things go smoothly. If you feel unsure about how to proceed, contact us at the TJ Woods Insurance Agency and we’ll help with estate planning, life insurance policies questions, long term care questions, or any other concerns you may have.