Estate Planning Tips
Make Your Wishes Known
It’s wise to put your wishes down on paper in the form of a will or a trust long before an incapacitating event or condition occurs in your life. Regardless of who your guardian is, the court will direct the guardian to follow your legal and written wishes as much as circumstances permit.
- Talk to family members ahead of time about your wishes. Let them know who you have entrusted with guardianship responsibilities or named as the trustee for your estate.
- Hire an attorney to prepare a trust if you have a sizeable estate. By state law, your guardian is required to use your assets for your care, including bank accounts, stocks, bonds, automobiles, real estate, pensions, life insurance. These assets may be liquidated on your behalf.
- Make known your wishes regarding medical directives and life-support care.
- State your wishes regarding burial, cremation and funeral services. The location of pre-purchased burial plots and other preferences should be documented.