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.