Estate Planning is Self Care

Getting Started, Wills & Trusts

Self-care and estate planning actually should go hand in hand. Just as you would plan for your physical health, emotional health, and overall well-being, planning for how your finances are handled after your death or how your health or finances are taken care of if you are unable to do so are both acts of self-love. Self-care also encompasses looking after your family, your career, and your financial health. Having a solid estate plan ensures that your loved ones receive any assets according to your wishes if you pass away unexpectedly and help ensure that your wishes are carried out during your lifetime if you cannot make those decisions for yourself. Taking full ownership of your assets and health can bring immense peace of mind. Many individuals end up putting estate planning on the back burner, waiting for the ideal time. However, for some, the ideal time never comes, and they end up passing away without having made any arrangements. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), more than half of adults in the United States do not even have a Last Will and Testament (will). Yet, the recent COVID-19 pandemic keeps reminding us that we are all vulnerable to unexpected disease and loss. Many individuals have suffered burn-out and other mental health challenges in addition to physical health problems. You might be left wondering how best to protect yourself and your loved ones during these uncertain times. Ibekwe Law, PLLC can offer personalized estate planning solutions for all individuals. Estate planning is self-care, whether you are single, a long-married couple, a single parent, or in a civil partnership. It is never too soon for estate planning. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation at 512-505-2753.

What Is an Estate Plan?

Estate planning is not only for the rich, according to Investopedia. Almost all of us have an “estate.” Everything we own, such as a home, car, bank accounts, and other investments, are part of our overall estate. Part of planning for your estate means that you will be in control of how your estate is divided between your loved ones and any organizations you care about when you pass away. Comprehensive estate planning is self-care and self-love since a good estate plan should also have provisions for what happens to you if you become incapacitated. Among other situations, a good estate plan should:

  • Include instructions for your care if you become incapacitated
  • Specify what happens to your business if you become disabled or pass away
  • Include instructions for passing your assets to your loved ones
  • Include life insurance for your loved ones in case you become unable to work
  • Name a guardian for any minor children

Making an estate plan can be important for every one of us. Not making a timely estate plan means risking your state, deciding on how to divide any assets when you pass away.

The Main Aspects of Estate Planning

Self-care often enlists the help of those more experienced. For example, if you are embarking on a health journey, you may hire a nutritionist or a personal trainer. If you are learning how to be calmer, you may hire a Pilates instructor or a therapist. Similarly, estate planning can seem daunting. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, estate planning can be a smooth process with a satisfying outcome. An estate plan typically involves:

Making a Last Will and Testament

The most commonly known type of estate plan document is a will. A will should include who you want to pass your assets to and how the assets are to be divided. If you have minor children or adult children with special needs, you should also include who will care for them if you and the other parent should pass away.

Establishing a Living Trust

With a living trust, your property does not have to go through the lengthy and costly probate process. This means that your loved ones will receive their inheritance quicker. Probate can go on for many months and incur expensive lawyers and court fees, as well as the loss of assets for beneficiaries.

Establishing Important Health Care Directives

A health care directive is an essential part of estate planning for self-care. The document will state the name of your health care agent. This person of your trust will then make any healthcare decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

Appointing a Financial Power of Attorney

A person you name as having a durable power of attorney for your finances will make all decisions regarding your property and finances should you be unable to see to your affairs.

Protecting Your Business

If you own a business, you should include a succession plan or a buyout agreement in your overall estate plan. Depending on your circumstances and the size of your estate, there could be many other beneficial actions you can take with an estate plan. Ibekwe Law, PLLC can advise you on your best steps regarding your life situation.

Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

Hiring an estate planning attorney can be crucial for ensuring that all aspects of your estate plan are valid according to state law. A missing signature or other mistakes can change the intent of the plan or invalidate it altogether. State law can be very specific and detailed regarding wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other crucial documents involved in estate planning. Formalities must be meticulously observed when drafting up and signing a trust, will, or power of attorney.

Trying to save money by using forms downloaded from the internet can lead to devastating consequences, including a trust or will not being legally valid. This can leave your loved ones in the difficult position of having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to correct any problems with your estate plan.

An estate planning attorney can expertly draft your documents, ensuring that there will be no unpleasant surprises for your loved ones. Consider that having an estate planning attorney by your side, if your family situation is somewhat complicated, can be advantageous. Some challenging and legally complex situations can include the following:

  • You have been married several times
  • You own one or several businesses
  • You have minor children
  • You own real estate in several states
  • You have dependents with special needs

Contact Ibekwe Law, PLLC Today for Help with Your Estate Planning

Estate planning can seem overwhelming and intimidating. However, once your estate plan is formally executed, you can rest assured that your wishes will be respected and your loved ones will receive their inheritance, or your personal wishes will be carried out for your health during your lifetime if something unexpected happens to you. A thoughtful and thorough estate plan is self-care as much as it is an act of love for your family. Even if you have a small family or are a single parent, an estate plan leaves nothing to chance and ensures that your children are provided for if something unforeseen happens to you. Let us help you plan for the unexpected. Call Ibekwe Law, PLLC now for a free consultation at 512-505-2753.