Your estate plan should conform to your lifestyle and your expectations for the future. Determining the best strategy to use can sometimes be the most challenging part.
Knowing what comprises a solid estate strategy can help you confidently design a plan of your own. Keeping your plan updated over time can help you preserve its function and value.
Addressing your needs
One-half of your estate strategy should address your needs. As you age, you may lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. Sudden disabilities, life-altering injuries or age-related illnesses may all impair your cognitive abilities. According to U.S. News, naming a durable power of attorney allows you to rely on someone you trust to make financial decisions on your behalf under such circumstances. Similarly, you might consider naming a health care proxy who can make decisions about your well-being under the same circumstances.
Your estate plan provides you with a place to instruct the people you name for these roles. You can outline the distribution of your money and your expectations for its use. You can also disclose whether or not you wish to receive various medical treatments and to what extent you wish to receive resuscitation.
Caring for your heirs
The other half of your strategy should address your heirs. People who stand to benefit from your estate plan are your beneficiaries. You can disclose, in detail, who will receive what and under what circumstances your heirs will have eligibility to claim their inheritance. An estate plan is an excellent place to discuss your legacy and your wishes for your surviving family members. If you provide for a disabled loved one, you can include care instructions as well.
Determining the best strategy for your estate plan requires you to look closely at your lifestyle. Assess your goals for the future. Consider the people impacted by your plan. Think about the legacy you wish to leave behind. Each of these angles can contribute to your identification of a strategy that will optimize your resources and provide you with peace of mind.