When we ask clients if they have had an estate planning conversation with their immediate family or heirs, most clients usually say they have not done so. For those that have had the conversation, it’s interesting for us to know how it went, who was involved, and what topics were discussed. Rest assured, almost always, the Inheritance issues have been discussed, but any Incapacity issues are usually not addressed. These are the two big “I’s” of estate planning: Inheritance and Incapacity.
Estate Planning for Inheritance and Incapacity
The inheritance issues are important: who is going to inherit what, how they will inherit it, and who will be in charge of administering the inheritance? These are key issues you need to plan for.
Most of the time, these issues are easily resolved within a will or a trust. Many clients know what they want for their inheritance planning.
While the conversation on inheritances is usually easier to have, planning for incapacity tends to be more uncomfortable. This may be a special concern for older individuals. However, everyone (regardless of age) should include an action plan for an unexpected circumstance. Anyone can experience a life-altering injury or illness that affects their ability to care for themselves or their families.
An estate plan gives you the option to make the following provisions:
- End-of-life wishes
- Living wills
- Guardians for minor children
- Power of attorney
- Healthcare surrogates
- Any additional documents to properly record your wishes