Estate planning tools at your disposal

As every carpenter knows, the proper tools enable a person to do a job well. So it is with estate planning.

While not everyone in Flemington has to plan for the disbursement of vast wealth, all of us have to consider what we want done with our assets when we pass on, and also what we want done in the event that we become ill and can no longer make our own medical and financial decisions. 

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article on several of the estate planning tools we should all make use of today. The first is, unsurprisingly, a will.

A simple will tells those left behind what to do with your assets, an especially important thing if you have children.

For parents of young children, it’s also crucial to name guardians for your kids.

Sitting down with an attorney and creating a will is really an act of kindness for your children. Rather than leaving behind family heirlooms, personal belongings, sentimental keepsakes, property and more with no plan to guide them, you will be letting them know how to deal with all of those things in what is sure to be a tough time for them.

Another contingency to plan for: an illness or injury renders you incapacitated. Who would make legal decisions for you? Who would take care of your finances? These are important questions that can be answered with a durable power of attorney.

A similar legal tool, a medical power of attorney, will empower a person of your choosing to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated.

With these documents, your family will understand your wishes if you are unable to express them.   

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Four Estate-Planning Documents Everyone Should Have," Tom Lauricella, April 20, 2014

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