- Accommodate loved ones, financially, when you’re gone
- Appoint guardians
- Minimise conflict
It is not difficult to understand or appreciate why Estate Planning is so important to most of us. After all you are dealing with your total estate, which over your lifetime you have worked hard to accumulate. You are also dealing with the most important people in your life, the people you love and you want to protect. So there you have it, it’s about protecting your estate and protecting your loved ones, the most important things in life and to ensure that both are looked after and managed in the best way possible, when you are no longer here or unable to supervise or manage events yourself.
For parents of young children one of the top priorities to consider is their upbringing, should the unthinkable happen. Who would raise them? What sort of education would they have? Where would they live? Who would feed and clothe them? In other words, who would be best placed and willing to love and nurture them as closely as you would have yourself, and of course where would they be happiest, in other words, guardianship. Quite a number of major decisions to make in just that one part of planning your estate.
Then of course there is the distribution of your estate.
A Will would be a priority in estate planning, where you are able to name Guardians for your children, if appropriate, and to write down where and how you wish your estate to be distributed after your death. You also name the Executor/s chosen to manage the distribution of your Will.
Having done that, estate planning goes further and should make the process easier for the Executor/s and Attorneys, by stating the reasons for your wishes in detail and making clear where such documents such as, Bank Statements, Insurance Policies, Investments, Power of Attorneys, Any mortgage details etc., are stored and how they can easily be identified. An Estate Plan may also make clear how you would wish your affairs, such as property, finances and child care, where necessary, to be handled if you were to lose mental capacity during your lifetime.
Lasting Power of Attorneys are an important part of Estate Planning, with the potential to protect assets in life, for successors. Use these to nominate a person/s to look after your financial affairs should you lose mental capacity during your life time. They also give you the opportunity to nominate someone to make health decisions, for you, if and when you should not be able to do so yourself.
It maybe that you would like to leave a letter to your family and friends explaining your bequests in writing, in order to avoid misunderstanding and distress at a difficult time. You may wish to leave specific instructions regarding your funeral.
Finally, it is important that all these documents are stored safely and that the executor/s of your will are informed of their whereabouts.
If you’ve any questions about estate planning, call Confidence Wills now on 0121 202 4714.