People often think of creating an estate plan as a very morbid process. After all, the whole purpose is to discuss what would happen after someone dies or when they experience significant medical issues that leave them unable to communicate or handle their own affairs.
Although some people delay estate planning for this reason, it is a crucial form of self-protection for those in many different life circumstances, including parenthood and early professional development. Estate planning is one way for an individual to protect the people that they are closest to in the event of an emergency.
They can appoint a guardian for their children
Few things will be as disruptive to a child’s future as the sudden loss of a parent. The responsibilities typically fulfilled by a parent will then fall to someone else. Those who do not plan ahead may leave their children at the mercy of the state foster care system. Parents often spend quite some time considering the people that they are closest to in order to select the right candidate to serve as a guardian for their children if anything should happen to them.
They can provide financial support
Life insurance technically isn’t part of the estate plan itself, as it is an outside form of insurance coverage governed by policy documents and not estate planning paperwork. Still, life insurance is one of several ways that a testator can arrange to leave adequate support for a spouse or minor children that depend on them. Additionally, a testator can leave very clear instructions about the distribution of their property after they die to ensure that the people they love have the financial resources necessary for their comfort when adjusting to the loss of someone’s household contributions and income.
They can reduce the pressure on their families
Proper estate planning addresses someone’s declining health and the possibility of future incapacitation in addition to the distribution of their assets and the care of their children when they die. Living documents including powers of attorney and advance healthcare directives can take a lot of the uncertainty out of making medical decisions for a loved one when they cannot speak for themselves. Those who name an agent to handle their healthcare matters and clearly explain their preferences will empower their loved ones to make the right choices and to feel confident about how they handle an emergency.
Taking the time to put together a comprehensive estate plan can allow people to protect the comfort and peace of mind of their closest loved ones even when they are not available to provide direct support due to death or incapacity.