The Importance of an Estate Plan
Most people do not like to think about what happens after they pass away. However, if you want to be in control of your possessions and what happens to them after you are gone, then you should, at a minimum, have a will. A will provides direction so that your heirs can carry out your wishes. Even if you do not have many assets, you probably have family heirlooms or items of personal significance that you would like to pass on to certain people. You can direct who receives specific items in a will.
If you have children, then it is even more important to have a will. For example, you do not want there to be any question as to who becomes the guardian of your children when you are gone. And don’t forget your pets. If you have pets, then you will want to direct who gets custody; you may also choose to provide some financial support to that person for the care and support of your pet.
Even if you do not have a will, you should at least have a healthcare directive. This is often called a Durable Power of Attorney Over Healthcare. This document will allow you to express your treatment preferences in extreme medical situations where you cannot communicate your wishes. It will also specify who will make those decisions for you. This is especially important when the person you want to make decisions is not a family member, such as with a fiancé or close friend.
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