In Part One of this two-part series, we focused on what you will include in your will and how your assets will be distributed. This post will discuss other critical legal matters covered in an estate plan.
7) Plan for minor children guardians: When we have children, there are many things to consider. Who will raise your children if you die? What about if you get in a car wreck? Could that person quickly get to them (within 30 minutes or an hour maximum)? Without a plan, a court will make that decision.
When planning for your children, you should identify people who can serve as emergency or short-term guardians, especially if your long-term guardians live out of town. Everyone should have documentation to demonstrate that you have provided them the powers to make decisions about the children on your behalf. At Scion Law Firm, we call it the Scion Safeguard Plan.
8) Manage your financial affairs: Should you become incapacitated or pass away, you will need someone to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone to step in if you cannot do so. If you are sick and need someone, like your adult child or your spouse, to step in and they are not on your accounts, they need this documentation to pay your bills.
9) Communicate your medical wishes: During the COVID pandemic, we saw many Americans become incapacitated without warning. When a patient cannot communicate their wishes, they depend on someone else to make decisions for them. Your Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, Advanced Directives and HIPPA waiver will provide the medical providers the information that they need to speak to your loved ones about your wishes.
10) Protect Your Assets from the Cost of Nursing Home Care: As we get older, many Americans need to think about the fact that Americans are living longer and long-term expenses are rising. Long-Term care insurance is a great way to protect your assets from the cost of nursing home care; however, many individuals are ineligible for medical or financial reasons. By utilizing an Asset Protection Trust, you can insulate your assets from having to be “spent down” before qualifying for Medicaid.