Essential Elements of Estate Planning

Estate planning is vital for any adult, and it usually includes more steps than just writing a will. The exact details of estate planning vary depending on your financial assets, family situation, heirs, and health. The overall goal, however, is to plan ahead as much as possible to ensure you can control your medical care at all stages of your life and provide for your beneficiaries after your death.

Financial Disbursements

One part of estate planning involves deciding how you want your assets divided among your heirs after your death. An estate planning attorney Charleston SC, can provide information on state laws and help you know how to draft a comprehensive and legally viable will. If you have minor children and/or pets, it’s essential to make sure you name appropriate guardians and allocate money for care. Many experts recommend creating a trust to protect the funds designated for the care of pets and/or minor children.

Health Care Planning

While a will provides instructions for your post-death wishes, a living will and other types of advance directives make it easy to communicate your decisions about medical care and end-of-life issues. You can use an advance directive to accept or decline certain health care procedures and treatments ahead of time, so a doctor knows what to do if an injury or illness makes it impossible for you to communicate those decisions. You can also give a trusted person power of attorney to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so for yourself. Advance directives may also cover decisions about organ donation, and you can create a document describing your wishes for cremation or burial.

Preparing for end-of-life situations may not be enjoyable, but it is extremely important. You can use a variety of legal documents to ensure you have as much control as possible over your health care, memorial service, and post-death asset distribution. Many state governments offer detailed information on wills and advance directives.