It is an unfortunate truth that every person alive today will eventually die. Failing to make accommodations for this unpleasant fact can lead to all kinds of legal troubles later in a person’s life, so it’s in the best interest of everyone to give some thought to estate planning.
Protect Assets and Inheritance
One of the most important aspects of creating a will is the legal protection that it affords to the estate of the deceased. Those who do not create a last will and testament, or do not take the extra step of ensuring that it is a legally valid document, risk winding up in a position where their estate is not divided up as they would have seen fit in life. Avoiding this problem is as simple as hiring an attorney to help draft documents before anything goes wrong.
Ensure that Wishes are Respected Later in Life
In addition to creating a traditional will, many people in today’s society also choose to draft living wills. These documents are designed to lay out what type of medical care a person wants in the event of serious illness or injury and to assign guardianship to a trusted family member or friend should a patient be incapacitated and unable to make decisions on his or her behalf. It’s important to update this type of document periodically to reflect his or her current desires, particularly if the person appointed to make decisions in the event of injury has died or become incapacitated.
Ensure All Documents are Legally Binding
Although some people choose to draft their own legal documents regarding their estates, it’s almost universally a better idea to entrust this process to an attorney. Only someone with experience in the legal field will know how to phrase everything correctly, where to file paperwork, etc…
Failing to draft a legally binding document may actually be worse than having no will at all. If adequate provisions have not been made for dividing the estate, the beneficiaries may take legal action after the person’s death that could undo all of the hard work he or she put into attempting to draft these documents alone.