Ideally, doctors who practice in Kentucky will have an estate plan. Having an estate plan in place can make it easier to manage assets while alive or after an individual passes. They can also help to minimize the amount of state or federal estate, gift or other taxes that a person might be obligated to pay.

Protect yourself if you become incapacitated

The use of a living will or medical power of attorney may help to adequately express the types of treatment that you’d like to receive while you’re incapacitated. A financial power of attorney can manage assets such as a home or bank account when you are not able to do so on your own.

Don’t let the state dictate where assets go

If you die without a will or trust, the state may determine who receives assets held within your estate. A judge may also have the power to appoint a guardian for a minor child. In some cases, the lack of guidance that a will or trust might provide could result in lengthy and expensive conflicts between family members.

Review your estate plan every few years

It’s generally a good idea to review your estate plan after a major life event such as a marriage or the birth of a child. It isn’t uncommon for physicians to update their estate plans every few years because of changes to the tax code or because of a move to another state.

A thorough estate plan may be able to help you protect your interests while you are alive and after you pass. It can also help to ensure that a spouse, child or other family members have what they need to maintain their current lifestyle if you can’t provide for them.