Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions.  Whether it is losing weight, quitting smoking, or spending more time with family, people hope to spark positive change in their lives.  An important resolution that can easily be kept is to make sure you have your estate planning documents in place. 

To start, everyone should have a will, which is a legal instrument that allows you to designate where your possessions should go after you die.  If you have minor children, your will can designate who will take care of them.  In the absence of a will, a court will make these essential decisions for you.  

Avoid unnecessary taxation

Another legal instrument you should consider is a trust that permits management of your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries.  If structured properly, your entire estate can avoid probate court through a trust.  In addition, you should also have a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) which allows you to designate someone who can make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.  You should also have a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) in which you give authority to another person to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so.  Finally, you should consider a Living Will which allows you to make your end of life medical decisions now.  

We understand that thinking about health and end of life issues can be uncomfortable.  But planning for these eventualities will help guide your loved ones and spare them difficult decisions, disagreements, stress, and avoidable expenses. If you are going to keep one New Year’s resolution, get your estate planning in place.  Contact the attorneys at Wuliger & Wuliger to set up a consultation to discuss your estate planning needs at (216) 781-7777.