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Why are estate plans so important?

It is the start of a new year. For many people in Jamaica, it means the opportunity to start over and do things differently. For you, it is a prime time to stop procrastinating on estate planning. According to Forbes, a little more than half of all individuals who are between the ages of 55 and 64 do not have estate plans. With each passing year, you grow older. Though you have many good years left in your life, a solid estate plan ensures you will be well cared for.

Helps prevent mismanagement

Estate planning requires you to use a variety of legal documents to protect yourself and estate against financial and medical mismanagement. You will need an estate executor and other trusted individuals to ensure the seamless transfer of your estate and to keep your loved ones from creating conflict that lowers your estate’s value.

Protects estate's value

You should also consider your long-term care needs. Many people forget to structure their estate plans so they qualify for government benefits that can help ease the financial burden of long-term care and preserve their loved ones’ inheritances. 

Once your cognitive abilities, motor skills and health start to decline, you could end up in a situation where one of your relatives file for guardianship of you. Guardianship means you lose the right to make decisions for yourself and your affairs without having to go through someone else for approval. Estate planning documents that can help you to avoid the loss of control and privacy include a financial and health care power of attorney and trusts.

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