Family time is what summers are for, whether you are planning a family vacation, road trip, amusement park, or any adventure. The thought of hardship or loss is not something you want to consider, so before you start planning any activities in the summer, make sure to have an estate plan in place before having fun. This will not only protect you but it will protect your family if anything were to happen. Now is the time for you to plan as there can come a time where you are not able to dictate your wishes. You should consider decisions such as medical choices, guardianship of a minor, and how your assets will be distributed. Completing this process before you and your family unwind and have fun can give you the peace of mind that if anything were to happen you have a plan in place.
Create a Will or a Trust
Some may believe it is too early to be thinking of creating a will or that they may not need one. The truth is no matter your age or the amount of assets you possess, everyone needs a will. When you decide to not create a will you are leaving your family and heirs with the difficulty of attaining their inheritance and even potentially losing it in the Probate process. Without a will, the Surrogate Court can decide the distribution of your estate/assets, and while it could result in a favorable outcome, it isn’t guaranteed.. Having a will or even a living trust will allow you to ensure your interests are met if and when the time comes. A living trust is a legal relationship where you designate a person or entity to control your estate if you pass. A will, however, can be used to appoint a legal guardian for your minor children if you become unable to care for them. An estate planning attorney will help with the drafting of all Wills and Trusts, and other necessary estate planning documents to ensure they are legally binding and accurately drafted.
Assign Guardianship for Minor Children
This may be one of the hardest decisions one has to explore, but is extremely important in case you one day pass away. Leaving your child is a devastating thought, but like with many things surrounding having a child, it entails planning. In the case in which your child/children need a guardian, you should put careful thought into who you would want to appoint as the guardian. The process of guardianship is complex as this can mean guardianship of finances, a person, or even both. When someone becomes a guardian they must file a petition and complete an accounting document with the court every two years, or whatever the court instructs, to report all transactions made by the guardian for the minor child/children. When the child turns 18, the legal guardian must provide them with all financial accounting documents. When this role is not assigned before you pass, the court may not be able to find a suitable guardian. This then leads to your child/children being placed in foster homes with strangers. This can all be avoided if you plan beforehand and designate guardianship of minor children early.
Life is not guaranteed and you may become incapacitated one day and not be able to make your own medical decisions anymore. Having a living will in place ensures your ability to clearly indicate your wishes for treatment and care if this occurs. When you do not have a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care, indicating your interests, the court now has the power to designate an individual to make those decisions on your behalf even if you may not agree with them. Having a living will in place also helps prevent any regret or hardship on your family when trying to make end-of-life choices for you.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney allows you to designate an individual to make decisions on your behalf. It is referred to as “durable” because it allows the individual you choose to make decisions for you even when you are incapacitated. Power of Attorney’s are drafted to grant these powers only when you become incapacitated. There are different types of power of attorneys in regards to Estate planning. One is for health care as explained above and another is for finances. Both are important when creating your estate plan as they ensure an individual of your choosing is granted control of your estate and decision-making if and when you become unable to do so.
Hire an Estate Planning Attorney Before Summer Vacation
You can enjoy your summer vacation with your family, even more, when you make sure your estate planning is completed beforehand. When your assets, family, and children are taken care of if anything were to happen, you won’t have to worry about what may happen if tragedy were to occur on your summer vacation, or at any given point in the future. An Estate Planning attorney will help make this process easier and inform you of all your options so you won’t have to make such hard decisions by yourself. Hiring an Estate Planning attorney will help you with drafting your Will, Trust, and Power of Attorneys, along with necessary documents that establish a legal guardian for any minor children. You will have peace of mind that your documents are being drafted professionally and are legally binding. Estate Planning should be done no matter your age and will help you keep a clear mind when enjoying your summer vacation with the ones you love. Enjoying your summer vacation will feel even better when your Estate planning is complete.
For further Estate Planning inquiries please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at 718-333-2394 to best prepare for your future in selecting an attorney that works best for your needs.