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Most important ability

With Estate Plans What is the Most Important Ability?

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The most important ability in an estate plan is- Availability.

The most crucial ability in an estate plan is- Availability.

The legal issues surrounding a health problem can go from bad to worse if you are not protected by legal documents expressing your wishes, according to the New Jersey Herald in “The importance of putting plans in writing.”

The message hits home especially hard, recently with two different instances. First, a father wanted his child to receive a house and made his own invalid “amendment” to his will. In a second instance, a person wished to is caretaker to receive assets and expressed that through an unsigned email.

The lack of legal documents at these times has made difficult situations even worse. Making them exist certainly aids with the first part ability of your planning: availability.

Although discussing concepts like end-of-life care can be challenging, all adults need to have specific plans in place, even if their estate plan is essential: a last will and testament, a living will, and a power of attorney.

It is never too early to put these documents into place. Suppose you have a college student or other child who is 18 years or older. In that case, he or she should at least have a designated power of attorney and a medical directive in case they cannot manage their affairs or make healthcare decisions.

Unfortunately, many still think estate planning is only for wealthy people who want to pay less taxes. Tax planning can help lighten tax liability for some. However, there are far more important reasons to do estate planning.

The main reason for estate planning is to set down expectations and wishes while you are alive and after you pass. An estate planning attorney will help review the benefits of having a power of attorney and a healthcare directive. They can help if the situation occurs where your loved ones have to make decisions for you. The amount of time, expense, and frustration of going through a guardianship process can be avoided if these items are in place.

An estate planning attorney can also help you get over the hump of making your planning available, assisting with overcoming procrastination, and even helping to complete beneficiary forms for non-probate assets, preparing a funeral plan, planning a personal property memorandum, and discussing elder care and planning for incapacity.

Making decisions in advance regarding who will care for minor children if young parents cannot and who will be the person’s executor and handle all the details of their estate are all necessary.

Many couples choose joint ownership and consider that their estate planning. However, that’s not enough. What happens when the last “surviving” joint owner passes? Many other issues need to be addressed.

An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.

Reference: New Jersey Herald (Aug. 22, 2018) “The importance of putting plans in writing.”