Have your made your list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2024 yet? Whether you started your list or not, let me help you with some inspiration – Estate Planning! Now hear me out…
At the end of every year, we seem to think that “next year will be my year” – the year everything falls into place. We are going to drink more water, exercise, meditate, and be nicer to everyone. Unlike all those other new year resolutions, this is the resolution you actually want to stick with past January 31st.
Repeat after me… “2024 will be the year of Estate Planning – executing a Will, naming my healthcare agent and my power of attorney!”
Your 2024 New Year Resolution should be putting your legal documents in order. Your age doesn’t matter, the size of your bank account doesn’t matter, and your family situation doesn’t matter. Everyone benefits from having a Last Will and Testament, Healthcare Directive, and Power of Attorney documents.
Estate Planning For Students
Are you a college student or the parent of a college student? This 2024 goal is for you. Did you know that legally speaking, once a child turns 18, parents do not have the right to review the child’s medical records or make healthcare decisions on their child’s behalf?
Sounds wild right? But that is in fact the law. Executing medical and financial powers of attorney avoids a lot of potential difficulties in the new year, and years to come.
Related Post: What To Include In A Will – A Simple Checklist
Estate Planning For Young Adults
Once you start accumulating assets, like a house, car, bank account, or even a cat, all those things (and living creatures) have to go somewhere when you die. The Last Will and Testament is the place to express your wishes – because that is the legal document that becomes your voice after you die.
Maybe you want your house to go to your parents, your car to your sister Hazel, and the cat to your aunt Nancy. But no one will ever know unless you execute a legal document for the court to use as a guideline for your wishes.
Don’t forget that simply writing your wishes in a Will, doesn’t hand over ownership automatically. There’s a little thing called the Probate process, but that’s a story for another day. For today, your new year resolution of executing an Estate Plan should be your main focus.
Estate Planning For Newlyweds
Once you start combining your assets with another person, it is also very important to review and/or prepare an estate plan. Married couples often begin purchasing assets jointly (like a house) so your Will needs to be reviewed to make sure your respective family members are protected.
It is also a good time to consider naming your new spouse as your Power of Attorney and Healthcare Agent.
Estate Planning For Parents
Perhaps the most important benefit of an estate plan for new (and not-so-new) parents, is that it allows parents to name a guardian who will take care of their children if neither parent is capable. If there is no Will, the court will appoint one without consideration for the values or lifestyle of the parents.
Estate Planning For Everyone!
Like I’ve said before, it really doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in, to benefit from estate planning documents. Our lives are always changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. So the best thing we can do for ourselves is to be prepared for the unexpected. As they say – defense is the best offense.
Related Post: 5 Everyday Events That Affect Your Estate Plan
New Year resolutions are historically known for motivating us to be better and do better, even if sometimes they only last a month or two. So if executing an Estate Plan in 2024 is the only resolution you see through to the end, you are already miles ahead of simply drinking more water or getting more sleep (though I’m pretty sure you’ll sleep much better knowing your legal documents are in order).
Marketing & Technology Director at RWC, LLC, Attorneys & Counselors at Law
Ukraine born and Israel / Miami, FL raised. University of Miami graduate in the Marketing field.
Mom to a girl, a boy, and a Siberian Husky.