When they hear the term "estate planning," many people conjure images of wealthy families leaving vast inheritances and property to their children. However, estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Everyone can benefit from a comprehensive estate plan and the related issues, such as guardianship, trusts and wills.
If you are the adult child of an elderly parent who is facing end-of-life decisions, estate planning may be even more critical. The sooner a plan is set forth, the better. It is much easier and effective to put a plan in place before you need it. Here are three benefits of estate planning for your consideration.
1. Peace of mind
Estate planning brings peace of mind because it takes into consideration the person's decisions about how he or she wishes to distribute assets or make decisions before the critical time comes. Sometimes, elderly people become incapacitated and no longer able to express their wishes. When advance planning has taken place, such as a power of attorney to delegate decision making in financial or health care matters, there is peace of mind knowing that the incapacitated person has already specified who he or she trusts to make decisions on his or her behalf.
2. Reduces potential conflict
Inheritance disputes are some of the most renowned family legal disputes. Even if you or your family member does not have a large portfolio of property or assets to distribute, advance planning in terms of how to distribute remaining wealth, such as in a trust or through a will, is important. It can help reduce potential conflict that can result when no advance directives were specified.
3. Qualified professional legal guidance
Estate planning and elder care attorneys have experience dealing with all the ins and outs of this particular branch of the law in their daily practice. As such, they are uniquely qualified to analyze your particular situation and advise you on how to proceed in terms of estate planning. A Life Care Plan can help you navigate the way through an elderly family member's condition and transitions. This is just one complement to a comprehensive estate plan, which takes into account care directives.