As you get older, one thing that you will want to do is protect yourself against other people’s actions. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you lose control over what you can or cannot do for yourself.
To protect yourself, it’s a good idea to set up your powers of attorney as soon as you can. You should also consider using a trust that takes certain assets out of your name and holds them for your specific beneficiaries, so there is no risk of them being transferred to others who might try to take advantage of you later in your life.
How do powers of attorney help?
Powers of attorney help because they allow you to select who makes decisions for you if you can’t anymore. For example, your financial power of attorney can grant your child, a friend or a trusted loved one with your finances if you become incapacitated. A health care power of attorney lets you select someone who can make medical decisions if you are unwell and unable to speak for yourself. Selecting someone you trust for that role is essential.
How does a trust help?
To avoid losing assets to creditors, manipulative family members or others, you can set up an irrevocable trust that takes assets out of your name and assigns them to specific beneficiaries. You cannot alter the trust once it is set up, which means that the assets there will largely be protected.
Should you talk to your family about your wishes?
Yes, it’s a good idea to sit down with your family members to discuss your wishes and work out conflicts now while you’re in good health. You may be able to identify issues that could cause problems down the road, or you may be reaffirmed in your decision to set up a strong estate plan now.
Knowing that you, your beneficiaries and your assets are protected is the benefit of an estate plan. There are many ways that you can plan for your future and help protect those you care about when you start looking into all the legal options.