When estate planning comes up in conversation, it is a common misconception that the topic covers only matters relating to death. While dividing your assets and implementing your other wishes after you die is a large part of estate planning, this is not all there is to it.
Estate planning covers numerous aspects, and the different legal instruments on offer are an indication of this. Planning for the future can feel overwhelming, but gaining a better understanding of the different estate planning tools can help you greatly.
Estate planning includes your health care
One aspect that your estate plan covers outside of assets is health care decisions. By implementing a health care power of attorney, you can ensure that medical decisions are made according to your wishes. For this role, you want to consider someone who you trust and who understands your views from both an ethical and practical standpoint.
The needs of your children
While the most likely scenario is that you will be able to raise your children to the point of adulthood, it does no harm to plan for unexpected events. Illness can fall upon anybody, and accidents can come out of the blue. Making plans for a guardian to care for your children is not morbid at all. It simply means you are covering all bases in their upbringing. When deciding upon a person to fill this role, you want to think carefully about their financial circumstances as well as the love they can offer the child.
Of course, wills, trusts and other instruments that outline how assets will be divided are fundamental to estate planning. However, there are many aspects to consider. As you set down plans for the future, make sure you have explored all of your legal options in full.