Failure to plan may result in accidental disinheritance. Accidental disinheritance occurs when you die without a will or your will does not function properly. You risk harming those you love and subjecting your estate to needless tax.
Because failure to plan leads to this great risk, most people need to make a plan for the future of their estates. There are several options for that planning.
A will is a written document that permits you to state how you want your property or estate distributed, name an executor (also called a personal representative) to distribute your property, pay debts and taxes, and handle other business affairs to settle your estate.
If you own property, you may wish to set up a living trust. It may be set up during life and directs where your assets go. Unlike a will, a trust will not subject your estate to probate.
Sometimes other considerations need to be made regarding your estate plan. It is important to appoint a guardian who, upon your death, can take physical custody of and care for your minor children or children with special needs.
If you are no longer able to manage your finances or property or later wish to have someone else manage your property, a durable power of attorney will give the person you select the legal authority to buy, sell, and manage your assets. Also, a durable power of attorney for healthcare allows you to select a person who can assist your doctors in making healthcare decisions if you become unable to act on your own behalf.
The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation’s Christian Guide to Planning Your Will and Trust can help you with all of these options and more. Call the Foundation at 800-259-6863 to request your copy today.