Thinking about what will happen to your assets and loved ones after you’re gone is never a pleasant topic, but failing to plan for this can have negative consequences for those you leave behind. A well-designed estate plan ensures your wishes are respected and helps prevent bitter conflicts that can cause strain within even the closest families. Below are just a few of the reasons to consult with a lawyer to get your estate plan in order.
The Benefits of Estate Planning
Deciding Who Receives Your Assets
If you die before preparing a will, your possessions will be distributed according to your state’s intestate succession laws, without regard for your verbally expressed wishes or the relationships that matter to you. Writing a will gives you the power to decide who should receive your assets after your death and lets you choose a trustworthy person to execute the instructions you lay out.
Making Your Own Medical Decisions
If an accident or serious illness leaves you unable to communicate with your doctors, who will make health care decisions on your behalf? A living will allows you to leave instructions for health care providers, give or withhold consent for certain procedures, and express your wishes regarding end-of-life care. If the situation arises, a living will takes an enormous burden off your family members, so they can focus on one another during a time that will already be difficult.
Giving Legal Authority to Those You Trust
You may assume that your spouse, children, or business partners will be able to manage your assets and health care if you’re incapacitated, but this isn’t always the case. For instance, your spouse may need your signature to sell your house, or a business partner may not be able to enter into a new contract without you. Having a lawyer prepare powers of attorney will give those you trust the legal authority to act on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.
Preparing your estate plan can seem like an overwhelming project, which is why the team at Stephenson & Stephenson, PA Attorneys at Law is dedicated to making the process as simple and stress-free as possible. Their lawyers have been helping families throughout Sanford, NC, plan for the future for more than 31 years, demonstrating a commitment to personalized, one-on-one care. Visit the website for more on their estate planning services, or call (919) 774-6182 to schedule a consultation with a lawyer today.