Estate planning can often be an uncomfortable and overwhelming process, making it easy to put off for years. If your plans aren’t in order, however, it can cause your loved ones a lot of stress in the future. It’s important to think about estate planning as a positive solution for making sure your wishes are followed and making it easy for the people close to you to honor what you want. These are some helpful tips for effective estate planning.
Put Together a Team
One important part of elder estate planning is putting together a team of professionals who can help you get it done right. Whether you are getting your own affairs in order or looking into estate planning for elderly parents, the process is much easier when you aren’t doing it alone. Key members to include in your team are:
Financial advisors are an important part of estate planning throughout your lifetime. They can help you grow your wealth and decide how you plan on distributing it in your estate. They can also help make sure your loved ones have financial security in the future.
Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning comes with a lot of paperwork and legal issues are often raised during the process. Estate planning attorneys can help deal with any questions that arise and draft documents like a will or trust, as well as appoint a power of attorney.
Other issues that can crop up during elder estate planning include inheritance and estate tax concerns. A certified tax professional can help you prepare ahead of time to avoid these issues or navigate them as they arise.
Create Necessary Documents
To ensure that your wishes are honored, it’s important to clearly outline them in the specific legal documents that are made for estate planning. These documents include:
Advanced Healthcare Directive
This document is also commonly referred to as a living will. Advanced healthcare directives include guidelines on what kinds of medical treatments and life-sustaining measures you wish to receive if you are unable to consent and make your own medical decisions. It often sets up a healthcare power of attorney to make decisions for you as well.
Last Will and Testament
The last will and testament outlines your wishes for how your possessions and assets will be distributed after your passing. It names the beneficiaries or individuals who you wish to receive specific assets. This is also where you will name an executor for your estate. Choose a trusted loved one to carry out your wishes.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is an individual who can make financial decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. They can also act on legal and business matters if specified in this document.
Share the Location of Key Information
Once you’ve created all of the necessary documents, it’s essential to share their location with those you are close to. This estate planning tip makes sure the documents can be found and used in a timely manner once the need arises. If you keep your documents in a secure location, share the key or passcode with someone you trust. It can also be helpful to maintain an updated list of all your current online accounts, passwords, and contact information for your estate planning team.
Communicate with Your Family
Whether you are planning for yourself or for elderly parents, it’s important to communicate with all members of the family. This makes sure everyone is on the same page about decisions that will be made in the future. Open communication helps prevent family conflicts from adding to an already stressful process.
Choose Quality Assisted Living
Another question that might pop up during elder estate planning is whether or not you or your loved one wants to eventually move into assisted living, or what guidelines you want in place for dealing with home health care or memory care needs that may arise in the future. Deciding on which supportive facility you are comfortable with before you need it can help make the transition process smoother for everyone involved once the time comes.
Good Shepherd has services that can meet all of these needs. We have assisted living facilities, memory care units and home health care professionals. Reach out today to find out more about how we can help.