I cannot stress enough the importance of this aspect of planning. The Estate Plan is the most foundational component that everyone 18 years and older must have. The Estate Plan is your written set of legal instructions made while you are in control that directs what happens when you lose control – and that would be under 2 circumstances: you lack mental capacity or you’re dead, if I may be so blunt.
An estate plan has nothing to do with the size of your net worth. You don’t have to be “rich” to have one. The importance of an estate plan for everybody is this: to ensure your voice is heard when you are unable to speak for yourself. An estate plan consists of wills, a Health Care Power of Attorney, an Advanced Medical Directive, a Durable Power of Attorney, and sometimes incorporates trust planning, depending on your goals and preferences. We often utilize the benefits of Revocable Living Trusts to avoid probate and explicitly plan for disability.