Your health care decisions are important matters that can have a big impact on your final days. When it comes time to make those decisions, there is a chance that you won’t be able to make them on your own. This is often the case if your mind isn’t what it used to be.

If this occurs, you need to have someone ready to make decisions for you. This person needs to be able to make the decisions that you would want made. It might be difficult for you to determine who you want to decide these important matters, as your close family members might understandably want to do whatever they can to save your life.

How can you appoint a person to handle these decisions?

There are many reasons why choosing a guardian for your child is easier said than done. Among them is the fact that you need to think about what you want to happen in the event that you are no longer around to raise your child.

Choosing a guardian for your child sounds easy enough, until you actually sit down to make a final decision. At that point, you realize that you can’t just choose the first person who comes to mind. Instead, you need to consider all your options with the idea that you can’t make a poor decision.

Here are a handful of tips that can put you on the right path:

When creating an estate plan, it’s easy to focus on what will happen to your assets upon your death. For example, you need to decide on who gets what.

However, there’s something you may be overlooking: your pets.

Many people are unfamiliar with the fact that they have the opportunity to create a pet trust. While many people believe that providing for their pets in a will is good enough, this is not always the case.

You have a lot going on in your 20s, but you may soon come to find that creating an estate plan would be in your best interest.

For example, if you have children, you don’t want to be without an estate plan. Doing so is a big risk that you shouldn’t be willing to take.

Fortunately, once you know what goes into creating an estate plan, everything will come together. Here are some tips for getting started:

For many people, estate planning comes down to one thing: deciding if they should create a will or trust.

While this is a big decision, you don’t want to stop there. You need to push further, which means learning more about the benefits of a durable financial power of attorney.

As complicated as this sounds, it’s anything but that. With a durable financial power of attorney, you’re granting another person the power to manage your finances if you are unable to do so as the result of incapacitation.

It’s easy to believe that a living will and a traditional will are one in the same. However, as you learn more about both, you’ll come to find that nothing could be further from the truth.

A living will, also known as a health care directive, is a legal document that outlines the type of medical treatment you want to receive in the event that you are unable to communicate your desires as the result of a serious injury or illness.

Although a living will is allowed in all 50 states, you need to learn more about the specific laws in your state. You don’t want to make a mistake that could make it invalid at some point in the future.

Robin Williams was THE comedian if you are a Gen-Xer like me. We grew up watching Mork & Mindy. And those of us who live in Boulder have, since his death, gone by the Mork & Mindy house and said our farewells there. What do we have to criticize about Robin Williams’ Estate? First, let me make my motives clear.

They say that in the past Robin Williams had battled depression and substance abuse and that he had recently received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, which often brings treatment-resistant depression with it. As someone with bipolar disorder who has experienced serious and treatment-resistant depression, I can relate. When the doctors can’t help and everything hurts, a person reaches a point where it’s hard to believe that this horrible painful state can ever improve.

It’s hard, as someone who wasn’t in Mr. Williams’ inner circle, to imagine him depressed. As a fan, I always saw him the way his director wanted his character portrayed or, when he was doing stand-up, as his “on” self. But I also saw the kindness of spirit his actions evidenced.

Most of us think, “thick stack of legal papers”? Ugh! “No, thank you!” But when it comes to estate planning, it’s just the opposite. You see, legal problems in estates are often caused not by bad estate planning, but by Failure-To-Plan (“FTP”), even in estates where the person or couple thought they’d done everything right.

FTP is insidious and you don’t even know if you have it because it’s invisible! It’s the absence of a clause your estate plan needs after you’re gone and can’t add the clause anymore. It’s the missing Asset Protection Trust for the divorcing child. It’s the Special Needs Trust that they intended to get to but kept putting off because they couldn’t bear to truly face how serious their son’s mental illness was.

Avoidance of FTP is why our estate planning documents are so thick and why we include so many of them. I’ve heard clients say, I can’t even count how many times, “I just want a simple plan.” Sometimes I respond, “When? Simple now? Or Simple later?” There are exceptions, of course, but in general: the easier it is to plan now, the harder it will be to administer later.

Online or DIY Rather Than Professionals

There are dozens upon dozens of websites that will profess to offer you just the right discounted estate planning documents… Internet sites can provide you with documents but no actual advice that fits you in the context of your specific financial and personal life. What happens when the laws change? Does the document create an unnecessary tax if the state and federal law diverge substantially? Also, use an experienced estate attorney. Forbes.com

Cheap Documents End Up in Court

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