Parent's try their best to provide a better life for their children. They carefully consider their childhood education choices, make sure they are eating properly, have the right equipment for their after-school activities, and try to save for their college education. Many parents work hard to set their children up for success, hoping to be there to guide them along the way.
Although it's something parents don't want to think about, estate planning can help protect your children well into the future, should the unthinkable happen and you aren't able to help them through to adulthood. Some people don't have wills and others have outdated beneficiaries or not enough safeguards in place such as adequate life insurance.
It may seem like a daunting task, but securing your family's future is a gratifying experience. It's important to pay attention to the details. Even the smallest typo when it comes to names listed on legal documents can greatly delay legal processes should you die or become unable to care for yourself.
Forbes provides these tips for estate planning:
•· Update your children's guardian. Should you pass away, make sure the person you want to take care of your children is able to help them until they are adults.
•· Check your beneficiaries on everything, including old IRAs and 401(k) plans. Relationships and needs change, and it's important to make sure your hard earned money goes to someone you see worthy.
•· It is important to have a power of attorney for healthcare. Putting your healthcare decisions in the hands of another person can be a difficult concept to grasp, but having a power of attorney could save your life when you aren't able to make important medical decisions for yourself.
•· Double check that your durable power of attorney is valid. One slight technical mistake could make it hard for your loved ones to assist you with your finances if you aren't able to take care of business yourself.
•· Life insurance is often overlooked. Make sure you have enough coverage to provide for your family.
Although these tasks might seem like a lot to do, an estate planning attorney can help you make these legal documents, giving you great peace of mind.
Source: Forbes, "Five crucial estate planning mistakes you are making," Nancy Anderson, Dec. 12, 2011