Plan for the Future

5 Steps to Follow When Creating Your Estate Plans

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Getting your will and estate plans done is one of the best things you can do for your family and future. Creating a plan now will save your loved ones time, stress and conflict. Here are five essential steps to follow when putting together your plan.

Before you call an attorney, take time to think about:

Who will make decisions for you if you’re sick or injured?

Who will care for your children if you die before they turn 18?

Who do you want to get your property and belongings after you die?

Once you think it through, you’re ready to create your plan. It should include at a minimum these essential documents:

A will, to name someone to care for your kids if something happens to you and to state who receives your personal property and assets when you die. Without a will, after you die the state gets to decide all this.

Power of attorney documents, which appoint someone to make financial and health care decisions for you when you can’t make them yourself.

A living will outlines whether or not you want life-sustaining treatments like a ventilator used when a serious medical or end-of-life situation occurs.

Once you’ve created these documents, keep the originals in a protected place (like a safe-deposit bx or fireproof waterproof safe). Make sure your attorney and the person in charge of settling your estate know where the original documents are stored.

Minimize surprises by sharing your plans with any family and loved ones impacted by your decisions.

Big life events like marriage, divorce, having children and retirement may change your estate plans. Make sure to regularly review your will, trust, powers of attorney and other documents so they reflect your current wishes.

Visit ARAGlegal.com to learn how legal insurance can help you with life’s legal issues.

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