How Estate Planning Needs Change Throughout Your Life
Welcome to Legal Briefs, every month we will cover a topic of interest to our clients in one of our practice areas. First up … What’s the big deal? Does everyone really need estate planning? The short answer is yes. Let’s address why at a few key life stages.
Once you turn 18 years of age, you need a will and medical and financial powers of attorney (POA). Why? These documents allow for someone you trust to step in and help when needed. Emergencies and accidents happen. If you get sick or injured, a medical power of attorney can help with HIPAA, ensuring your trusted health care agent makes decisions with doctors and medical staff. Similarly, if you are unable to make financial decisions, a financial power of attorney names someone you trust to act on your behalf. A will names beneficiaries for assets and personal property and establishes your personal representative, who makes decisions regarding your estate if you pass away. At Stone Law we take the time to meet with you and help you ensure these basic estate planning building blocks meet your needs and wishes.
As you start a family it’s important to have a will naming guardians for minor children. This allows you to determine who will care for your children, instead of leaving this crucial decision up to a court or judge. As with any stage in life, it’s still wise to have medical and financial powers of attorney so decision making is easier if you are unable to act for yourself. Your spouse or significant other does not automatically have a right to make
decisions for you. Medical and financial powers of attorney are necessary to make sure the right people have authority to act on your behalf when needed. Stone Law’s Young Family Plan is designed to fit easily into the chaos and busyness of your life at this stage.
Older Families and Adults
As you grow older your needs change. Estate planning should be updated every few years. As children grow, a more comprehensive estate plan can help protect your legacy for your adult children. Trusts change the way your assets and estate planning work. They allow flexibility across state lines, protection for blended families, and additional privacy. Depending on laws when your trust is signed, trusts can also plan for tax issues and concerns. Your situation is unique to you, at Stone Law we take the time to meet with you, working together to determine what kinds of planning best meet your needs and circumstances.
Does it feel like there’s no good time to sit down and discuss who you want in these roles when busy with work, parenting and life? You are not alone. Instead of avoiding a difficult conversation, give Stone Law a call at 877-897-6591 today. Allow us to work with you, whatever stage you are in, ensuring the process fits your busy life. Start your path to peace of mind today.