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Posted on August 9, 2023 in estate planning
Many people choose to put it off and keep from doing any estate planning. We always think we’ll have more time to deal with it sometime later. However, you shouldn’t wait to deal with your estate planning, as an accident could happen at any time that leaves you incapable of making arrangements for your belongings and medical care.
Having an integrated estate plan allows you to be prepared for any of the unexpected surprises that life may have for you. You’ll have all your bases covered and lay out what you want to happen to you when you can no longer take care of yourself.
An integrated estate plan is similar to a traditional estate plan. The integrated part of it comes from its ability to plan for many different situations. Integrated estate plans help you map what you want to happen in most contingencies. Having everything in order can help your family avoid a costly and emotionally draining battle in probate court.
You can lay out your plans for how the doctors handle your medical care, depending on what ails you, or when certain powers of attorney trigger. While estate plans are already quite comprehensive documents, integrated estate plans help you make sure that you can have a plan for anything that happens.
While many people typically think of estate planning as something you do to plan for your death, there are many benefits to the process while you’re still alive. You can lay out any medical requests you have and sort out the power of attorney for when you are unable to advocate for yourself.
There are three main parts that we can break up documents in an integrated estate plan into. These categories are lifetime asset protection, medical plans, and estate administration.
Lifetime asset protection documents cover what your family does with your finances and assets while you are incapacitated due to an injury or illness. You can direct your family on how to use Medicaid or manage your bank accounts when they have power of attorney.
You can also set up trusts in your estate plan to handle your finances when you are no longer well enough to do so. You can also designate a durable power of attorney or where gifts go while you’re still alive.
You may have requests for how doctors handle your medical treatment when you become sick. If you are of sound enough mind and body, you can make these desires known directly to medical professionals. However, when incapacitated, you need an integrated estate plan to describe exactly what you want medical professionals to do for you.
Your integrated estate plan can also appoint someone to be the primary decision-maker when receiving treatment.
When someone passes away, lawyers can distribute any assets to appropriate beneficiaries. This process normally is smooth when the deceased has an integrated estate plan laying out all their desires.
There are several benefits to having an integrated estate plan while you are still alive.
Your family will be emotionally distraught following the passing of a loved one. With a well-crafted integrated estate plan, you can lower this worry by allowing them to not worry about how to handle your estate.
Inheritance taxes can end up taking a big chunk out of any money and assets you leave behind for your family. Speaking with an estate planning attorney early can help you mitigate these taxes and make sure that your money is going where you want it to.
Your beneficiaries may be depending on the assets from your estate to assist them financially. If you don’t have an estate plan, a judge will determine where your assets go and who to distribute them to. You need to have an estate plan ready so that you can control what happens to your estate.
Having an estate plan also helps you cut down on any family controversy and infighting following a loved one’s death. It’s harder to have a family fallout over the money if it’s all accounted for.
Parts of the integrated estate plan, like a living will, help make sure that your family handles your medical desires as you instructed. A living will helps advocate for you when you no longer can.
A: Estate planning lets you give yourself and your family peace and security. You can determine where your assets go and avoid paying as much in taxes as possible. Estate planning also allows you to dictate what kind of medical care you’d like to receive and how you want your family to manage your finances if you are unable to.
A: Your family sees the biggest benefit from estate planning. They do not need to worry about what you wanted to do with your estate when you pass, as you give them a map to follow. The person who creates the estate plan also benefits, as they can have peace and assurance that everything is taken care of.
A: Life insurance helps by giving your family members financial stability in the event of your passing. You can use a life insurance policy to equally distribute your inheritance to others and to deal with an estate tax. Your life insurance may also give your family money for any funeral, burial, or cremation costs.
A: The three primary goals of estate planning are to:
A well-crafted estate plan can fulfill all these objectives and leave an appropriate plan for your loved ones to follow.
There’s no time to wait when discussing integrated estate plans. You need to make sure that you and your family are ready for any challenges ahead. We at Ken R. Ashworth & Associates are ready to help you with any of your estate planning needs. Contact us today to get started.