Plan Ahead: Why Estate Planning is Important

It might be uncomfortable to consider, but death is an integral part of the human experience. If you are fortunate enough to have experienced a long, full life so far, it might be time to think ahead and start drafting a plan for your estate. Even when you still have quite a long way until the inevitable happens, it’s better to have a properly arranged plan to make sure both your estate and beneficiaries are well taken care of.

According to the website of the Chicago elder law lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC, estate planning is the process of making important decisions and necessary arrangements about how you want your properties and assets handled in the event of your death. This will entail distributing your personal property, real estate, investments, and other assets among your chosen beneficiaries. Estate planning can also include choices you’ve made in terms of how you’d want to be cared for and treated in case you won’t be able to make such decisions for yourself in the future. Specifically, it can also entail defining who will have power of attorney over important legal decisions made in your behalf, as well as plans for nursing home care.

To start, you will have to draft your Will. As you may know, this is the legal document where you can officially declare all the specifications of the plans and arrangements you’ve decided on. In your Will, you will have to delineate how you’d want your assets and properties distributed among heirs that you can name. You will also have to name an executor who will be responsible for making sure that all the plans you’ve detailed in your document are properly accomplished.

As mandated by federal law, a Will can be drafted by any individual over 18 who is of “sound body and mind”. The document will be validated as soon as you sign the it with at least two witnesses present. You can also enlist proper legal help to have your Will officially notarized and avoid further disputes down the line. You can also consult with lawyers to learn which decisions and arrangements you’ll need to prioritize in your will. Because estate laws vary from state to state, you should work with a lawyer with sufficient experience working in your area.