ADDITIONAL ESTATE PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS
Your survivors, a spouse, minor children, or a disabled child of any age must also be considered in the estate plan. There may also be other, non- tax reasons, for including a bypass trust in an estate plan.
A guardian for dependents
In case both parents are deceased, a guardian (and one or more alternates) should be named to care for minor children or other dependents.
Professional asset management may be necessary to ensure that financial resources are not squandered.
Who makes medical decisions when I cannot?
Modern medicine can now keep someone “alive” in situations that formerly would have resulted in death. Those who do not wish to have their lives artificially prolonged by such techniques must plan ahead and put their wishes in writing through one of the following: Living Will Also known as a “Directive to Physicians,” this document provides guidance as to the type of medical treatment to be provided or withheld and the general circumstances under which the directive applies. Durable power of attorney for health care Many states have laws allowing a person to appoint someone to make health care decisions for them if they become unable to do so for themselves. Durable power of attorney for financial affairs Allows another individual to act on your behalf regarding financial matters in case of your incapacity.
Outside the legal framework
Most of the documents involved in an estate plan are legal in nature and should be prepared by an attorney. However, not all documents involved in an estate plan are legal ones:
Letter of Instructions An informal document that can include information such as your wishes regarding disposition of your remains, contact information for key advisors and family members, the location of important documents, the description and location of assets, usernames and passwords for online accounts, or notes on family history. It is used to provide, in a private manner, direction and guidance to your family or executor in settling your estate.
Ethical Will While a legal Will or a trust is used to distribute assets, an Ethical Will serves to transfer values and beliefs. It is a personal expression of the writer’s life and values and the people, events, and experiences that influenced that life. In a very real sense, an ethical will is a spiritual legacy to future generations.
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