How many times have you see commercials for websites like Legal Zoom show up on your television or computer? The answer is probably fairly high. When you are considering making an estate plan, you might be tempted to jump on that website and use one of the kits that are available. In a recent seminar, elderly Michigan residents were warned against using those do-it-yourself kits because some of them aren't legal in the state.
Making an estate plan can be rather difficult, especially for those who have considerable assets or complex medical conditions. Those who opt not to make an estate plan are leaving everything in the hands of people who don't really know them. A hospital or doctor would have to make decisions about your health care, while a judge or representative of the state would have to make choices about your assets.
Instead of letting someone else make decisions for you, taking the time to make an estate plan that complies with state laws can help you to make all the choices. You can include a will that stipulates how to handle your assets. You can make an advanced directive and appoint a health care power of attorney to make your wishes about medical care known.
Once your estate plan is made, you only have to keep it updated. Every three to four years is an ideal time to wait between updates as long as your situation doesn't change before then. If your situation does change, you should update your plan then. With each update, you should make sure that you have a full understanding of what you must do for your plan to comply with state law.
Source: ABC10UP.com, "Senior Citizens plan final estates" Aug. 06, 2014