Many people view estate plans as something that makes life a little less complicated for their loved ones after they die. Rather than leave the matter up to the state or family feuds, they can decide who gets what and how much.
However, the truth is that estate plans have many other purposes worth considering. Forbes reminds people that estate plans also help them plan for their own personal needs, such as what happens to their assets if they are unable to make decisions for themselves.
Even healthy people can suffer from injuries in sports, motor crashes or a bad fall that leaves them incapacitated. In these instances, someone else may need to make key decisions about health care. Designating a health care proxy simplifies this process.
While incapacitated, people also need someone to make financial decisions on their behalf. Is there a certain amount of money that usually gets set aside for savings? Does someone need to balance the investment portfolio? A power of attorney gives someone the right to make legal and financial decisions on someone else’s behalf.
Fidelity points out that business succession is another aspect that estate plans can take care of. While it specifically points to business succession after a person passes away, incapacitation is another reason someone else may need to step in. The person tasked with handling personal finances may not necessarily have the time, will or qualifications to handle the job requirements so choosing someone for this specific role is important, when applicable.
Many of the same concerns someone may have when they pass away arise when they become incapacitated, even temporarily. In fact, there are sometimes even more concerns as the person in charge might need to keep up with accounts instead of canceling them.