Today we are continuing our discussion about estate planning, focusing on this article and the topics of Advance Healthcare Directive and Beneficiary Selection. Many families don’t understand the importance of estate planning. Our goal is to offer education and information to guide you in making the optimal preparations for your future.

For more information about these topics, you should meet with your estate planning attorney. Here is an overview to help you get started:

Advance Healthcare Directive

Everyone wants to maintain independence as long as possible. But eventually, healthcare situations often result in a need for another person to make decisions on your behalf. An advance directive is a legal document that outlines who will be your decision-maker and your wishes for medical treatments and care.

Your selected decision-maker doesn’t step in to help until you reach the point where you are physically or mentally incapacitated and no longer able to make these decisions alone. At this time, the decision-maker follows the wishes and instructions as outlined in your healthcare directive.

The benefit of an advance healthcare directive is that you can request specific care plans and how you would like the medical team to handle your treatments. Additionally, the document gives your appointment person the ability to choose care providers and access your medical directors. Finally, the directive goes beyond death to outline your wishes for autopsy, burial, end-of-life arrangements, and cremation.

Beneficiary Selection

The main purpose of an estate plan is to ensure the right people receive your legacy while also protecting financial assets from court fees and taxation as much as possible. Therefore, when you are writing a will and creating a trust, you have the opportunity to choose beneficiaries to receive your assets: family members, friends, organizations, or anyone else that you would like to inherit a portion of your estate.

Part of your preparation also includes the process of assigning beneficiary designation to all of your financial accounts. Talk to your banks, brokerages, insurance providers, retirement accounts, and more to set the proper beneficiary assignment. These designations override your will and trust, which is why you need to be proactive about keeping them updated if anything changes in the future.

Help with Estate Planning and More

The simplest solution to design an effective estate plan is to work with a knowledgeable legal team. At Shoup Legal, we offer full-service solutions for wills, trusts, DPOA, advance healthcare directives, beneficiary selection, and more. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We can be reached at (951) 455-4114 or by email at [email protected].