A terminal or serious medical diagnosis can put a person in the position of realizing that they have far less time than expected to get their affairs in order. This raises important questions about the accuracy of your estate planning documents and important steps that you need to take to protect yourself as well as your loved ones. You need to consider questions such as; what is the best way to leave assets to your heirs? Should you pay off your mortgage or leave it alone?
A devastating medical diagnosis has ripple effects that can be felt throughout your family but giving into panic without planning can be a big mistake. When faced with disability or chronic disease, an experienced estate planning attorney should be contacted as soon as possible. While it may be uncomfortable, awkward or even filled with guilt because you haven’t done enough planning in the past, it’s important to use a professional to bridge some of the most common issues. Estate planning usually does occur with an emotionally charged event, but all kinds of issues that you hadn’t previously considered might suddenly boil to the surface. Make sure that you have a notebook so that you can keep track of all of your documents, the questions you need to answer and personal details.
Having all of this information in one place makes it much easier if you are suddenly unable to make decisions on your own behalf. You can allow a power of attorney or other agent to step in and get things tied up quickly. The first and most basic estate planning document is your will.
If you do not currently have one, a good place to start is making a list of all your assets including retirement accounts, real estate, and financial accounts. The will includes most of the important details related to things that do not have a beneficiary. Property is best spelled out in a will and this should always be done with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer.
Plenty of celebrities have provided for case studies for what not to do when it comes estate planning and thankfully, you can avoid these obstacles by working directly with an experienced and dedicated lawyer.