Planning for the end of your life may not be something you look forward to doing, but putting it off isn’t wise. There’s no telling when tragedy will strike and, unless you’re prepared, you may end up leaving too much to chance. In addition to the distribution of your assets, there’s the custody of your minor children and your own end-of-life care to consider. If you don’t plan ahead, the courts will have to determine how to settle these matters and those decisions may not be in line with your final wishes.
When you consult an attorney to help with your estate planning St Johns County, you can choose who will receive your assets. In addition to being able to name your heirs, you can also set up a plan that will help those heirs receive their inheritances that much sooner. When assets are included in a traditional will, they’re subject to the probate process and the terms are all made publicly available. A preferable alternative is to set up a living trust, which is not public or subject to probate. Anything included in the living trust will be distributed more efficiently and the terms of the living trust will remain private.
Even with a living trust, you will still need a will. One of the most important reasons to create a will is to allow you to determine the custody of your minor children. Your will lets you decide who will care for your children after you have passed away. Unless you choose someone you trust and make your wishes known in a will, the court will determine guardianship. This means your children may be placed in the care of someone you don’t trust, or with someone you feel is not suitable to care for them.
Serious illness or injury can strike at anytime and leave you incapacitated, but your estate planning attorney can help you prepare for these events as well. By working out a complete plan with your lawyer, you can ensure your finances, medical care, and other wishes are overseen by someone you trust. Under other circumstances, these important issues may be left to court-appointed representatives. By making your plans ahead of time, you can ensure your wishes will be considered.