Personal finance tips and advice on money and investing to increase your financial intelligence and welfare

Necessary Documents to Protect you and your Family

No matter how healthy and safely you live your life, accidents happen. In order to make it easier on your family if the worse is to happen, there are certain legal documents everyone should have. A recent survey from RocketLawyer.com showed that 50% of people die without a will. A last will and testament is only one document you should have to protect yourself and your family from death and debilitating diseases or accidents.

last will and testament

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Protecting your Assets

A last will and testament details what should happen to all your assets. Even if you do not have much, you still want to create a will to make it easy on your loved ones when you pass away. It does not have to be fancy; it can just say something like my spouse gets my assets. All your assets, including land, real estate, savings, insurance policies, and personal belongings should be accounted for. If you have a more complex estate with numerous assets, you might want to invest some time in creating a more comprehensive estate plan. Many people choose to set up trusts for their assets, which makes the inheritance process much easier and keeps it out of courts.

Protecting Yourself

Setting up a will or a trust focuses on those left behind once you die. However, you should take the time for two important legal documents to protect yourself in case you become incapacitated due to illness or injury. A last will is a place where you can outline your desires on a variety of medical decisions, along with appointing someone to take care of things if you cannot. This includes important decisions regarding life support. This document focuses only on your own medical care, not on your assets. You should also set up a power of attorney document that details the person who will make decisions on your behalf if you cannot due to age, injury, health, or mental health reasons. With these documents, you are protecting yourself and making it easier on your loved ones when you have not died but are in a debilitating state.

Protecting your Children

Often, a last will and testament or even a trust will include adequate clauses that protect your children. However, you want to ensure that you have set up certain guidelines to ensure that your children are well taken care of. If your children are minors, then it is essential you create a Kid’s Protection Plan. This details the children’s guardianship in the case that both parents die. This can be a close family member or even a friend. This will also ensure that custody battles for the child remains out of court. You will also want to make sure that you have set up some finances for your children, which often will be handled through a will or a trust. Even if your children are no longer minors, you might want to take the time to ensure that your assets are protected to make it easy on them.