It probably has been in the back of your mind. Or, maybe somewhere towards the bottom of your “To Do List”. Or, maybe it was a New Year’s resolution that you already forgot about.
For most people, thinking about estate planning is not the highest priority. After all, it is an acknowledgement that we will all age and eventually pass away, which is an unpleasant reality that most people would rather not dwell on. But, planning for the unexpected is a necessary part of life. And, after the estate plan is set up, people usually feel a sense of accomplishment and relief knowing that they have put their affairs in order for their friends, family, and loved ones.
Your estate plan could be as simple as making sure you have a valid Will. But, your estate plan can address many other concerns, such as:
- Using a trust to hold an inheritance for children or grandchildren until they are older;
- Naming a guardian to care for your minor children;
- Naming a person to care for you or manage your assets if you become incapacitated;
- Using a trust to avoid probate proceedings
- Power of Attorney
- Advance Directive for Health Care (a combination health care power of attorney and living will)
- Reviewing and updating beneficiary designationshttp://ourbendlawyer.com/estate-planning-probate/probate-in-oregon/ on insurance policies and retirement accounts
- Minimizing or eliminating estate taxes.
Even if you already have an estate plan, it should be reviewed periodically to ensure that it still meets your needs. I recommend that people review their estate plans at least once every five years or any time there is a major life event, such as a birth, death, marriage, divorce or adoption in the family, or a change of your residence, employment, health or assets.
If you live in Oregon and would like assistance with setting up a new estate plan, or updating your existing estate plan, please contact Brian T. Hemphill to schedule a consultation.