As a newly single person, estate planning may be the last thing on your mind. But, whether you are recently divorced or recovering from the death of a spouse, it is more important than ever to have a plan.
Incapacity, Disability, and the Court System
People sometimes become incapacitated, losing the ability take care of their medical, legal, and financial affairs. Often, it is because of a medical issue, like a stroke or brain injury. If you were incapacitated today, who would make decisions for you?
Unless the right estate planning documents are in place, no one will be able to manage your finances and property. Instead of your appointed agent – someone you chose – a probate judge will appoint a conservator and/or guardian to act on your behalf. Meanwhile, your family must pay fees for filing documents with the court and for the services of a guardians or conservator, a guardian ad litem, and attorneys. A court proceeding takes a great deal of time and money.
Make a durable power of attorney and advance health care directive part of your estate plan. In your durable power of attorney, you choose the person you trust to handle your financial affairs. When it comes time to make medical decisions on your behalf, your advance health care directive lets doctors and your family know what you want even if you can’t speak. By planning ahead, you may give your family the gift of peace of mind.
New and Old Relationships
It’s possible you may remarry.
With the right estate planning, you can address issues that may arise from a remarriage before they happen. After all, you want to take care of your new spouse without accidentally disinheriting your children. If you remarry without changing your estate plans, your new spouse could inherit everything while your children receiving little or nothing.
However, a new estate plan can meet the needs of your new spouse while also preserving your children’s inheritance.
Estate planning can protect everything you have for everyone you love.
At Adams & Miller, P.C., we make it our business to help clients like you make thoughtful, informed decisions about their estate planning.
To learn more, attend one of our FREE estate planning workshops. Please call (256) 237-3339 to register for a workshop or to schedule an initial consultation. You may also request an appointment through our website.
We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham, but also serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.