How To Begin Estate Planning
At Kentucky ElderLaw, PLLC, we know that estate planning can be confusing and overwhelming.
But estate planning is important. And many people have misconceptions about the process.
We are here to help you make sense of the process and create an estate plan that is customized to your unique needs and goals.
Here you will find out more about the estate planning documents available to you. When you come to our office for a free consultation, we can discuss what options may be best suited for you.
What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?
You may feel overwhelmed by the numerous legal documents you have to create. These are some of the most important documents to have in place when planning for your future:
- Durable Power Of Attorney: A durable power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes one person to act on behalf of another person in financial and legal matters. It is called durable because it remains valid after the person granting the power has become incapacitated; this is when a power of attorney is most often needed. The person who is given the power is called the attorney-in-fact.
- Health Care Surrogate: A health care surrogate (also known as a health care power of attorney) is a person who makes medical decisions for you when you can no longer make medical decisions yourself.
- Wills: A will is the document where you state who gets some of your things when you die and is an important part of estate planning. The person who carries out your wishes is the personal representative, or executor. The personal representative or executor has no control over who gets what. This is designated ahead of time in your will. Your personal representative does not undertake his role until you have died and the court has approved his appointment.
- Living Wills: A living will states your wishes about the use of artificial life support to keep you alive a few days longer but only when you are permanently unconscious or terminally ill with no chance of survival.
When To Start Estate Planning
Many of our clients have a common question: When should I start the estate planning process?
It is important to remember that estate planning is a customized process. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. When we meet with clients, we look at many things; their goals, their families, their finances, and their lives.
So could estate planning begin when a young couple has their first child? Yes. When a divorced individual gets remarried? Certainly. When a couple nearing retirement wants to review their plans to make sure it is congruent with their upcoming change in employment status? Absolutely.
You can start estate planning at any age or life stage in adulthood. Your needs will vary based on many factors, so it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you create a plan that works for you.
Learn About Other Important Documents
There are many options available when you create an estate plan. Contact Kentucky ElderLaw, PLLC, and we can explain these documents and more to you.