One of the biggest misconceptions about estate planning is that it is only a plan for what happens after your death. The truth is your estate plan can be much more than that.
The Business Journal explains that if you utilize your estate plan correctly, it can be the perfect tool to set up your plans for what would happen if you end up unable to make decisions for yourself.
An unexpected illness or injury, for example, could land you in a position where you cannot take care of yourself or need someone to make decisions for you. If you do not have plans in place to give this power to someone, then the court steps in and chooses for you, and the decisions may not match your wishes.
In your estate plan, you can include a power of attorney. This document provides legal permission to another person to make decisions for you. You can create the power of attorney to grant whatever decision-making power you want. You can make it limited or extensive. You can also have multiple powers of attorney to give different people different duties, such as one person to handle your medical decisions and one to handle your financial decisions.
If you have minor children, it is essential to have an estate plan. It can say who should take custody of your children upon your death. The plan also can provide guidance on who you want to take care of your children in you are still alive but cannot care for them yourself.