Many say that life is short and should be lived to its fullest. Balancing an appreciation of life with the acknowledgement of the finite nature of life can go a long way to ensuring that your loved ones will not be left with burdens. Only one out of four Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 do not have a living will should the unexpected happen; this can result in dire consequences for their dependents. Contacting legal services is the best way to ensure that your wishes are honored and your possessions distributed according to how you would like.
Planning a Will
As many as half of all Americans between 55 and 64 do not have a will. Preparing a will can help you distribute property, ensuring that family members do not have an opportunity to fight over material possessions — there have been cases where entire families have divided thanks to the untimely death of a loved one who did not have a will. Taking initiative to plan your will now could help spare loved ones from added distress in the long run.
Power of Attorney
Along the same line, taking precautionary steps includes acquiring an living will. Also referred to as advance directives, a living will helps to ensure that your wishes are honored with respect to end of life care should you become unresponsive for whatever reason. Designating a power of attorney to a trusted friend, relative, or spouse that knows your wishes is another arrangement that can be made with legal services. Power of attorney lawyers can draft documents that nominate a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney for between $500 and $1,500 typically.
For those with a significant amount to leave behind, it may be a good move to contact legal services to arrange for estate planning to ensure that your loved ones get the most out of your estate. Those with assets exceeding six figures may find it best to establish a trust in addition to a will in order to minimize estate taxes while avoiding probate. Those with an estate valued at over $5.43 million ($10.86 million for a married couple) are liable to pay federal estate taxes — thankfully those with estates valued under these figures are able to leave gifts to individuals upon their death known as bequests tax-free as of 2015! Taking the proper steps to ensure that your property remains in the family could save your family and friends from legal issues down the road; contact legal services to ensure that your wishes are followed to the letter.