Protect your loved ones and last wishes with estate planning | Hines & Maxwell, PLLC
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Protect your loved ones and last wishes with estate planning

Failing to create a last will or estate plan early in life could leave the people you most care about in a vulnerable position financially and socially, especially if you have minor children. As a general rule, you should think about creating an estate plan or last will if you have children, intend to marry someone or acquire substantial assets, like a home.

Taking the time to create a last will or thorough estate plan now can protect your loved ones, wishes and assets. It can also provide you with peace of mind regarding the well-being of your loved ones. If you have minor children, naming a guardian in a last will helps to protect them and ensure they are well loved and raised if anything should happen to you.

Estate plans allow you to plan for more than just death

One of the biggest benefits of creating a thorough estate plan is the ability to ensure your family or loved ones will know your explicit wishes about a variety of important decisions. For example, you can create medical directives or guidelines with an estate plan. If you want to be an organ donor or if you would prefer your family limit the amount of time you're kept on life support, an estate plan ensures that your wishes are a matter of record.

You may even have a limited power of attorney document drawn up in case of medical incapacitation. This ensures that legal, financial and business matters are handled when you are unable to make decisions or tend to them on your own. Naming a guardian for your children protects them if you die or otherwise become unable to care for them as needed.

Your estate plan can also include instructions for your funeral or memorial service. Some people even outline their exact burial preferences and pre-purchase caskets to ensure everything is as they'd like it to be.

You can always update your estate plan or last will later

Creating a last will or estate plan isn't something that you do once and then never worry about again. To the contrary, you should probably review and update your estate plan and last will every five years or when something critical changes in your life. The birth of a new child, the loss of a spouse, a divorce or even financial gains are all reasons to revise an existing estate plan.

That doesn't mean you should put off creating one until you think your life is settled. Instead, you should create a last will or estate plan in the near future and update it when circumstances in your life change. Doing so ensures you have protection now and in the future, as well as the peace of mind that comes from leaving nothing to chance.

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