Over 18? Here’s Why You Need a Basic Estate Plan
Once you turn 18, no-one can make decisions for you unless you say so. Your friends and your family can’t just step in and take over. That’s why life without a basic estate plan is like skiing naked. It seems breezy and refreshing, but if you take a spill, you’re just…not covered. If you don’t have a plan in place before something happens, your fate may well end up in the hands of a court. That’s likely the last place you want decisions made on your behalf.
What is a Basic Estate Plan?
There are three parts to a Basic Estate Plan:
• A Healthcare Proxy – This is the person you choose to make decisions regarding medical care if you can’t make them yourself, even if only temporarily.
• A Financial Proxy – This is the person you choose to manage money matters for you if needed. It can be the same person as for your Healthcare, or a different person.
• A Simple Will – This directs how your affairs are settled if you go up to the big ski jump in the sky. It describes what happens to your stuff, and other important things, like who your dog wants to go live with.
The only thing certain about life is uncertainty. We don’t like to think about this stuff, much less talk about it. When you have a Basic Estate Plan in place, you don’t have to.
How Can I Get a Basic Estate Plan?
The best way to get protected is to work with an attorney who is a Certified Estate Planning Specialist. It’s tempting to try to use a do-it-yourself internet site, or an attorney that may do some estate planning on the side along with criminal law or whatever else they practice. A lot of attorneys will say they do estate planning, but c’mon…it takes experience. And specialized knowledge. If you break your leg on the hill, you probably want the orthopedist instead of the neurologist. The same goes for your legal affairs. If you want good estate planning, find a professional that specializes in the field.
Look for a Free Initial Consultation
A good Estate Planning Specialist will offer a complementary initial consultation. They won’t try to hard sell you on a fast track for a one and done, or run up billable hours on you. They will take the time to get to know you and understand where you are in life. They will help you understand what you need and why. They will work with you and make adjustments for you as your life grows and your needs change.
So get protected and stay covered. Whether you are slipping into the singles line for the first time, or chasing the kids down the bunny hill, you won’t be over-exposed to catastrophe as you are cutting your turns down the mountain of life.