For almost everyone in the America, 2016 was a year that held many surprises, some positive, and some heartbreaking. If nothing else, this year was an extended reminder that in big ways and small, life can take unexpected turns. As we look forward to the advent of a new year, there will be many New Years’ resolutions made, in an effort to learn from the past and create a better future. Now is the perfect time to review your estate plan and resolve to address any of these key areas that may still be neglected.
We all know in the back of our minds that tragedy could strike at any time, but it still seems like those things happen to other people. This is foolish thinking, and may leave your loved ones unable to follow your wishes if you die or are incapacitated. Make a resolution now to create your advance directive and establish power of attorney, before it is too late. These will ensure that your loved ones know how to respond to various complex medical scenarios if you are unable to communicate, and will grant the person you designate with power of attorney the legal authority to make those decisions on your behalf.
Beyond making your medical and end of life wishes known, if you have not created a will yet, don’t put it off! Even if you believe that you do not have enough of an estate to need a will, surely you have some property or other assets that you would rather a loved one receive instead of the government. This is especially true for those who have family. The state is an impersonal distributor of property, and will almost certainly not distribute your estate in the way you would choose.
While accomplishing these resolutions will create some safeguards for the ones you love, they are merely scratching the surface of ways that you can work within estate planning law to ensure that your wishes for your property are followed. If you are ready to complete any of these resolutions or a more complex estate planning goal, an experienced attorney can help you create the perfect plan for your needs.