March 16, 2018

Planning for More than Your Financial Life

As I referenced in my last blog post, when I mention estate planning as a part of my practice, I often hear “I don’t need any estate planning, I don’t have anything anyway.” But, did you know that estate planning can do more than leave money to your loved ones?

A well-crafted estate plan should include more than the basic will or trust; estate planning also includes planning for incapacity. Our estate plans are drafted as a package, including a power of attorney and a healthcare directive. Anyone can benefit from having these two documents in place, whether they have $10 or $10 million, and whether they are 18 or 81 years old.

Powers of attorney are used to name an agent to handle legal or financial affairs if a person is unable to make those decisions on their own. This means that if a person suffers a medical tragedy leaving them unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, the power of attorney can step in and make sure that the mortgage is paid until they recover.

A healthcare directive is similar, but the agent named makes healthcare decisions. These decisions range from which hospital to treat the person to whether an experimental surgery with the possibility of great reward is the option the person would have chosen for themselves. A healthcare directive can also explain specific wishes for organ donation, cremation or burial, or other funeral arrangements, whether based on religious or other deeply personal beliefs.

Parents can also benefit greatly from an estate plan, as an estate plan allows them to name guardians who would raise their children if something were to happen to both parents. This is why it is particularly important for young families to create an estate plan. It truly is a gift to provide for your children.

Estate planning really is about more than your financial life and is for everyone. If you have any questions about your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact Segal Duffek Moen at (952) 358-7400 or