When you die without having a will in place, you turn control of your personal assets over to the state, rather than deciding what to do with them yourself. When you die without an advance health care directive, you again relinquish control over your personal affairs by failing to stipulate what you want to happen in the event of a medical emergency. Creating a simple, three-part estate plan helps you avoid these issues while giving you more control over your own affairs.
According to Bankrate, it is advisable that everyone creates an estate plan, regardless of how much money or assets they have. Having the following three components in your estate plan should help you maintain more control over your legacy and personal and financial affairs.
1. A will
You may use a will to outline who inherits which of your assets after your death. You may also use the will for other purposes, too, such as for naming a guardian over your minor child.
2. An advance directive
Advance health care directives give you a chance to say what you want to happen to you with regard to health care should you suffer incapacitation. Having one in place may help your loved ones avoid having to make critical decisions that may not feel ready to make.
3. A power of attorney
A power of attorney gives someone you name the ability to handle and manage your financial and personal affairs. This helps ensure your loved ones do not have to handle your outstanding debts when you die.
None of these estate plan components have to take a long time to complete, nor do they have to be complex to prove effective.