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Estate Planning Basics
Category: Estate Planning
Subcategory: Basics

 

Estate Planning Basics
Most find it disagreeable to think about death. Due to this, we often tend to overlook a crucial action all of us need to take, estate planning. This is a way to consider all finances and to arrange for legally valid documents in line with your wishes, in the event of a mishap occurring with you or someone you love and care about. The term estate refers to all the property that belongs to you. Property can broadly be categorized as real property and personal property. Real property comprises of the real estate, which you own together with whatever is attached to it. For example, the company of which you are the owner and your residence, along with other structures like your barn or garage. Personal property covers all your movable assets like jewelry, furniture, artwork and even your car. Through estate planning you are able to ensure that your wishes for the distribution of your real and personal property is carried out as specified. If you neglect to plan the distribution of your estate, when you are no longer around to ensure the smooth distribution, your loved ones, relatives and family members will be forced to knock the doors of the probate court. They will have to deal with a number of legal issues in your absence. You will be doing them a big favor if you take care to plan properly in advance and save them from many woes.
 
In estate planning, you first write your will and create a Power of Attorney, which authorizes a person to act on your behalf when you are disabled or deceased. You can even set up a trust and appoint trustees for the property, to execute the deed of trust. 
 
On the financial side, a well organized estate plan would detail instructions on the disposition of your house, property, investments, life insurance, business in entirety and all the benefits you stand to receive in the event of your disablement or demise.
 
Therefore:
  1. Draw your will in consultation with your attorney.
  2. Secure a Power of Attorney favoring the person you want, to take care of your property and all other financial matters, in the event of your disability or death.
  3. Secure a Power of Attorney favoring the person you would like, to decide upon the attention and care you may require in case of disability.
  4. Create a document of directives to doctors/physicians/hospitals mentioning related earlier directives given elsewhere, if any, regarding directions for stopping health care/life support treatment, in case of your being comatose or permanently incapacitated.
All documents should be meticulously drafted and contain an averment pertaining to your sound mental state during execution of the document, else they may prove weak or ineffective to support the purpose for which they were executed, if challenged in a court of law.