Estate Planning Can Make a Difference for Loved Ones

November 29th, 2017 by Bunch & Brock

In the view of some people, estate planning is easy — have an attorney draw up a will, leave what you want to whom you want, and hope for the best. However, there is far more to it than that. Through estate planning, you can achieve many goals. You can give to charity, make arrangements for your care if you become unable to make decisions for yourself, and, perhaps most importantly, make it easier for your loved ones to carry out your wishes after you have passed away.  Here’s how…

Power of Attorney

One of the first ways to prepare is to hand over power of attorney to someone you trust. If you become incapacitated, this individual will make important decisions for you, based on the legal parameters set out. The duties, rights and responsibilities of the designee can be written out specifically, so that they have only the powers you have given them.

Planning for Debt Payments

One often overlooked item is debt. Most people accumulate some debt. Estimates show that 73 percent of individuals die still owing money to creditors, whether for cars, houses, other properties or credit cards. Upon death, the decedent’s belongings are held in probate; provided other arrangements have not been made, the assets are used to pay off the debt. In some cases, such as with houses, the recipient takes over payments. There are several legal ways to prepare and organize for the inevitable, however, to make sure belongings are transferred as efficiently as possible.

Making Arrangements Ahead of Time

Another preparation you can make to ease the burden on loved ones is a prepaid funeral, in which you purchase a burial plot and casket in advance, as well as pay for the services provided by the funeral home. This can also be done if you choose to be cremated and have a memorial, or make other arrangements. This allows you to make sure your last wishes regarding how you are laid to rest are followed explicitly, and it removes the pressure and responsibility from grieving loved ones.

One item that is often overlooked is leaving instructions, passwords and sign-ins for social media and other online accounts. Otherwise, profiles and other information may remain online indefinitely, and the executor of your estate may have difficulty taking care of details.

Considering the uncertainty of life and death, the best means of preparation is to consult an estate planning attorney and find out what other steps can be taken. These include specifying who receives special assets, planning for aging relatives in your care, finding a competent and trustworthy individual to have power of attorney, and, in some cases, creating a business succession plan.

If you would like a consultation on how best to prepare for the inevitable, contact Attorneys at Law in Lexington, Ky. as soon as possible. With more than 35 years of experience., Bunch & Brock attorneys have the knowledge, resources and experience to assist you with your legal needs. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us today at 859.254.5522.