If you have medical or financial emergencies in the future, you could greatly benefit from a few key estate planning tools. No one knows when emergencies will strike, but advance preparation can be key. Consider signing advance health care directives, choosing a guardian for children, setting up a trust or savings, and getting life insurance or disability insurance.
Health Care Directives
The last thing you want in a medical emergency is for you or a relative not to be getting the medical care you need. It’s surprisingly easy to be out of the loop with doctors and nurses – especially if you and relatives do not have advance health care directives. You might not be able to talk to doctors on your relative’s behalf. Or the doctors might give you treatment that you do not want. Directives confirm your wishes in writing and tell doctors what they should or should not do in an emergency.
Guardian for Children
In an emergency, your children may need care that you cannot provide. To protect them, consider signing a guardian designation for each child. A guardian designation explains who you want to care for your child if you cannot. While a court ultimately gets to choose the appointed guardian, your designation passes on your wishes and may influence who is appointed.
Trusts and Other Financial Fallbacks
In a financial emergency, you may need some money stashed away to help you stay afloat. Starting a revocable trust or setting up an emergency savings account are two options to consider. You can place money or property into a revocable trust at any time, and you can take it out if you really need it (as long as you are the trustee). Meanwhile, the money or property can earn interest or appreciate in value. An emergency savings account or other savings also could pay your expenses in an emergency. Interest-bearing accounts gain value over time while staying accessible should you need the money.
Life Insurance and Disability Insurance
Finally, signing up for life insurance and/or disability insurance could help you and your family in an emergency. Life insurance pays a lump sum to a chosen beneficiary if the policyholder dies suddenly. It’s a good choice for families, especially those with young children. Disability insurance pays out a lump sum or monthly payments if you cannot work anymore due to a disability. It could be crucial making ends meet.
To discuss various options for preparing for medical or financial emergencies, contact a local estate planning lawyer. You may have even more options besides those listed here, and taking the time to plan could make all the difference.
Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.