When you and your loved ones gather for the holidays, you have a unique opportunity to discuss future care needs, estate planning or financial arrangements. You may be thinking of cooking, presents and gathering everyone together; but estate planning and the holidays actually make sense for working together.
If you already have a will or trust, you may look around and realize you need to change beneficiaries or change who you want to help with your medical decisions.
As you look around at your loved ones this season, you may realize all the new spouses, children and grandchildren. But you may also see that some loved ones are growing older or have already left us. In a way, it reminds us how fast everything can change. Talking with your family is a great start, but there are other estate planning things to do by the end of the year. Since everyone is gathered together, this is the perfect time to discuss or update your estate plans.
Some discussion points can include:
Write or update your Will or Trust. Most people agree that we need a will or trust, but unfortunately, many of us don’t currently have one. It’s one of those things that many feel they will get around to. But sometimes, it’s too late, and when you die without a will (dying intestate), it puts unnecessary hardship on your loved ones.
Select your Power of Attorney. If you have not already done so, having a power of attorney is an important aspect of your estate plan. A power of attorney is a legal document giving someone the ability to handle your affairs when you cannot. This can be temporary or long-term.
Write your Health Care Directive. A health care directive tells your family and doctors your medical wishes. This can be used if you are in an accident and are unconscious or cannot make decisions due to old age. A health care directive tells everyone the level of medical attention you want and what you don’t want. This takes the burden off of your loved ones.
Update Beneficiaries. Your will or trust is not the only place you have named beneficiaries. You often named one in your life insurance policy, retirement accounts and maybe even your bank accounts. Is that person still available to be a beneficiary, or do you want to name someone new?
Meeting with an estate planning attorney can help you build a strong estate plan to ensure you and your loved ones are cared for.
Now that you have discussed it with your loved ones, we can help you write or update your estate plan. Contact us to schedule a consultation with the experienced Estate and Probate Legal Group attorneys. Call us at 630-864-5835.
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties