Talking about making a will and estate planning is often difficult for most people because whether or not it is for themselves or for someone they are close to and love, it means thinking about a time when they and/or the people they love will not be around anymore. It is important to do this though because having a legal will and well-made plans for a person’s estate when they are gone, protects a person financially now as well as their legacy in the future.
A surprising experience that many people have when they finally make the move and start to plan their own will or have that difficult conversation with a parent or other close family member about doing this, is a sense of relief. Especially when the will has been signed and finalized, and a person’s estate is in order legally, many people feel comforted and more relaxed knowing that their affairs are in order, rather than feeling like what they thought they might feel.
Planning an estate for a parent, a much loved relative, or for yourself, is not a way of saying goodbye- but rather a way to have peace of mind and to be able to enjoy time in the here and now.
Steps for Estate Planning
The following are some of the steps that are essential to planning an estate. Having a good estate plan is a way of protecting someone while they are alive, even if they are incapacitated, as well as their wishes for their assets when they pass.
- Wills and Trusts
It is important to have a legal will and for some people, a legal trust.
Many people recommend enlisting the help of an estate attorney who can give you
guidance and make sure your paperwork and documents are in order, rather than trying
to do this on your own.
- Emergency Information
Compile a list of more than just doctors and their phone
numbers. Different people have different needs but examples of things to have in one,
easily accessible place include but are not limited to; the specifics of digital assets, bank
accounts, stocks, retirement plans, and storage rental; online accounts with usernames
and passwords; names and information about lawyers, financial advisors and anyone
else who has legal knowledge of and/or access to the aforementioned.
- Power of Attorney
Designating a durable power of attorney to someone you and your
family trusts, allows the person to make legal decisions in the event the person whose
estate they have been appointed to is incapacitated and no longer able to make these
Decisions for themselves.
- Advance Medical Directive
An advance medical directive is a document a person
decides upon when they are healthy, in case there is a point where end-of-life medical
decisions need to be made without them being able to say what they want.
- Talk to Your Parents
Even though many people have had a difficult time talking to their
parents in general, and many people have been able to talk to their parents but don’t want to worry them by trying to talk about their financial affairs, it is important to do this while you all can. While these conversations are often not easy to begin, most people have a sense of relief once they have been started and feel better knowing that they now have agreed upon plans in place for the future.
Estate Planning With Parents
It is hard enough for most of us to see our parents getting older and it rarely gets easier as time goes on. But even harder usually, is admitting to ourselves that they can no longer fully manage their financial affairs and that we need to move in and do for them, what we as “children” are so used to them doing for us. As hard as it is, it is important to do this because it ultimately protects your parent(s), their security, and their assets.
For a highly recommended estate planning lawyer in Sacramento CA, contact Yee Law Group.