Many Americans have no estate plans at all, and most who begin planning are usually middle-aged or older. However, a terminal illness can strike any time, and those who are diagnosed with such an illness often have to make estate planning choices quickly. As a recent article in Forbes illustrates, there are key estate planning choices you will need to address if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
If you have a life insurance policy or other transfer on death account, you’ll want to review each of these and identify who you have selected as your beneficiary. If any of your transfer on death accounts name a child or an adult with disabilities as your beneficiary, you’ll probably want to change your selection. Children and legally incapacitated adults cannot directly inherit assets after you die. In this situation, a court would have to appoint a guardian to manage those assets on the child’s or disabled adult’s behalf.
All states have probate procedures that apply after a person has died leaving behind property. In almost all situations, you can reduce or eliminate the necessity of having your property go through probate before a new owner takes possession. Reducing probate requirements is often a key step in estate planning as this will save you and your family a lot of time and money.