When preparing to have a first child, the number of things you need to do often seems endless. Everything from thinking about daycare to furnishing a nursery and buying a car seat can quickly fill a to-do list. Some of these things can be stressful but still worth it as you think about how your life is going to change.
However, one thing you may not have thought about is the need to make an estate plan. Making a will and naming guardians to care for the child also may be things you haven’t considered.
However, these are crucial steps to take in case tragedy hits your family while a child is still young. We’ll explain why having an estate plan is so essential below.
Opens Up Important Conversations
You may not have thought about who would raise your child if the worst happens. Or maybe you always assumed your parents would do so. However, these are only assumptions and things can change as time goes on. Grandparents might move away, have health issues, or otherwise be unable to step in if something terrible happens.
Having open conversations about your thoughts will help you make solid plans. These conversations might not be easy but they are essential. You’ll know who to name as guardian if you are unable to raise your child.
Avoids Court Battles
If you don’t have an estate plan and pass away, your loved ones who survive may argue about who should raise the child. In the worst case, this could result in a trip to the courtroom. When this occurs, a judge will be tasked with deciding who should take care of your child.
This can be stressful for everyone, especially a small child. The person you might have chosen to care for your child could end up losing. While appeals are possible, the winner is usually the person who was chosen by the first judge.
Another thing people may fight about if you don’t have an estate plan is who gets your property, money, and more. An estate plan notes who gets what to avoid additional disputes if you pass away.
It’s best to have a will, a power of attorney, and a healthcare power of attorney to avoid any confusion. If you have not had an estate plan made and have a child on the way, reach out to the attornies at Bell & Shah today. It’s something you want to have available as soon as possible.
You have likely heard the term power of attorney, but you may not know exactly what it means, how it is used, or any of the specifics. Essentially, it is a type of legal authorization that allows a person to have the power to act for another person. The person who is given the power of attorney is typically called the agent, while the person they can make decisions for is called the principal.
A power of attorney is often used when the principal has a temporary or permanent illness or disability, or when the principal is not available to sign certain documents.
Common Types of Power of Attorney
The types of power of attorney include general, limited powers, and durable. A general power of attorney allows the agent to act for the principal in any matter that is allowed by the laws of the state. For example, they could manage assets, handle bank accounts, sign checks, or file taxes for the principal.
A limited power of attorney on the other hand narrows what the agent can do. For example, it might state that the agent only has the power to manage certain types of accounts or to make certain types of decisions. The limited aspect could also refer to the power only being in effect for a set amount of time. For example, you might leave the country for six months or a year and allow someone else power of attorney during your time away.
When you are setting up a power of attorney, you will want to determine the scope of power that you want to provide to another person. Naturally, this will vary from case to case. You should talk with your attorney about your options.
A durable power of attorney handles some of the legal, property, and financial matters when someone is mentally incapacitated. The agent with a durable power of attorney can pay medical bills on behalf of the principal, but they can’t make major medical decisions.
However, if a principal wants an agent to have this power, they can choose to sign a healthcare power of attorney, where they can become a healthcare proxy. Financial power of attorney is another type of durable power of attorney. This can allow the agent to manage the business and financial affairs of the principal.
The best way to set up any sort of power of attorney in Chicago or elsewhere is to get in touch with Bell & Shah, who specializes in Wills & Trust Law.
There aren’t very many topics as unpleasant as discussing one’s own demise. However, that doesn’t make it any less necessary. It is the responsibility of anyone who has even modest assets and portfolios that will need distributing to see to it that a qualified expert handles it once they are gone. It is also the caring thing to do for your family and friends who will be grieving.
What Happens if You Are Incapacitated?
It isn’t always death that brings about the need for estate management. Even if it isn’t your final will and testament but rather just power of attorney following an accident or major health event, planning foe these legal situations before they can even arise will give you and your family peace of mind.
What Happens if You Pass Away?
Although not all estate matters come about as the result of death, most of them do. Regardless of how healthy our lifestyles are or how often we see the doctor, everyone will pass away. It is during these times that our family and loved ones suffer the most. Therefore, it only makes sense that you would want to take care of all of the loose ends that you could before that day comes.
Leaving Your Personal and Business Interests Cared For
One of the most unfortunate but not all that uncommon results following someone’s death is family conflict. This sad truth happens time and time again, especially when there are still financial details to complete. Sometimes during periods of trauma and stress, people who love each other can lash out as a coping mechanism.
However, this can lead to much more damaging and long-term issues. With one simple estate plan you can make sure that your family never has to take on the added burden of tending to your wishes in addition to having to mourn your loss.
The experienced and caring attorneys at Bell & Shah know exactly how to handle the issues that come after someone’s passing. Your family and business associates certainly deserve no less. Give us a call today to discuss the details.