Estate planning isn’t only for the elderly or wealthy, we can all use estate planning tools for emergencies. We never know when we may find ourselves in an emergency, so how can we be prepared for something that may or may not happen? Whether getting sick unexpectedly, natural disasters, or accidents, emergencies can happen to any of us. 

Are you prepared for the worst? You don’t want an emergency to drain you financially or to leave your family with any more trauma. Here’s how to be prepared for anything. 

Your Estate Planning Tools for Emergencies

  1. Have a Financial Emergency Kit- Having a fireproof/waterproof safe or other type of lock box with a copy of important documents will help begin the process of rebuilding or recovering anything that was lost, or make it easy for your emergency contacts to access your records if they need them. You’ll want copies of your insurance policies, bank account information, core estate planning documents like your power of attorney, trust, and will. Make sure to determine where your original documents are and where any copies are.
  2. Power of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directives- If you already have an estate plan then chances are you have these documents. If you don’t, we can’t stress enough how important it is to have these. If something were to happen to you and you become incapacitated, you’ll need someone to make your decisions and take care of your affairs. You’ll need an advocate for both your medical decisions and your financial matters. Aside from having these documents, make sure the people you choose know what you’re expecting and where to find any documents they may need.
  3. Keep Your Wealth Inventory Updated- In a disaster you never know what you may lose. Having a list of all your assets, both physical and intangible, will keep you organized and know what may need to be repaired or replaced. This will also help your POA or trustees know where your assets are and how to access them if need be. Keep a list of your accounts and any login information in a secure place as well.
  4. Talk To Your Loved Ones- Any plans that you make will only work if you tell your loved ones what to expect. It’s not easy to talk about these things, especially with children, but if you are counting on someone to take responsibility during an emergency, make sure they know what’s expected of them. Anyone that you’re assigning to a role within your plan should know what your wishes are, what items they may need, and who they should turn to if they need help.

We never want to think about these situations. But we also never know when an emergency may happen. Use these tips to begin preparing yourself and your family for emergencies and have peace of mind that you and your loved ones are taken care of. If you need help getting started, contact us ASAP.

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.