Everything you own is part of your estate. This includes your home, your car, a vacation home, the camper, bank accounts, life insurance policies, furnishings, jewelry and other personal possessions. Regardless of the value of your estate, it’s important you take care of it before you are unable to anymore. The following are some basics that go into estate planning, as an estate lawyer, like from Yee Law Group, can explain.
Care for Your Children
If your children are minors at the time you create your estate plan, you get to name a guardian for the event you die while they’re still young. If the children’s other parent is in the picture, they’ll generally live with that parent, but there are some circumstances when that wouldn’t happen. If you both died, you’d want to ensure your children are properly cared for.
You shouldn’t just name a physical guardian for your children. You should also name a financial guardian. If you trust the physical guardian with money, you may just keep it the same person, but many parents choose one individual to raise the children and another to distribute money at certain times in the children’s lives.
Distribution of Your Assets
Everyone has assets, whether costly or humble, so be sure to include those in your plan. You can decide whether you’d like to sell the house and split the money between your kids, leave the house to a particular child, hand the jewelry over to a museum or anything else you see fit to do with your personal assets. If someone else has part ownership in your assets, it may not be as easy as naming another individual, so you may want to speak with a business partner or vacation home co-owner to determine how they would like things handled at the time of your death.
Care for You
There are times in some people’s lives when they are unable to care for themselves. Whether disability or mental incapacity requires help, these people may not be able to make financial or medical decisions. In your estate plan, you can name a durable power of attorney. This should be someone you trust to make both financial and legal decisions if you are unable to do so yourself. You can also name a healthcare proxy. This should be someone you’d trust with your life, as he or she will be making medical decisions on your behalf.
Getting Started with a Lawyer’s Assistance
An estate plan is a collection of documents put together to ensure the people and items most dear to your heart are always taken care of. Contact a lawyer today to get started with your plan.