Sunday, November 5th was daylight savings time! Who doesn’t love the extra hour to sleep in? With daylight savings time, there are tons of different things you can do with your extra hour. Sure, you can pick to watch an extra episode or two of your favorite show on Netflix, but you can (and should) switch it up this year and do something that will benefit your future and your loved ones’ future for years to come: estate planning.

Schedule an estate planning consultation! Use your extra hour wisely, and you will be able to see the long-term effects of such diligent planning. In this article, we’ll tell you a little about what to expect from your estate planning consultation, as well as extra information about some main points to know.

The Consultation

When you go to your estate planning consultation, the discussion is going to focus on your needs and the needs of your family. However, as with anything, you might want to brush up a little on the topic before you go to the consult.

There are a variety of different estate planning tools such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care surrogates, and more. Here is a brief overview of the major terms to know.

Estate Planning Cheat Sheet

  • Wills are a little different from estate plans, but they are important to know about anyway. Wills go into effect when you die. Wills direct who will receive your property after death. Wills don’t actually help you avoid probate; that’s not how you dodge that bullet. The only way to avoid probate is through estate planning, which is covered in the next three points.
  • Trusts go into effect once you create them. You don’t have to be dead, as with a will. A trust minimizes estate taxes. It is a right in property that is held in a fiduciary relationship by one party. The trust benefits the other party. This second party is known as the beneficiary.
  • Powers of Attorney. Your power of attorney acts on your behalf in financial matters if you are unable to take control of your matters for yourself. A power of attorney is a good way to make sure that you can have someone responsible taking care of your finances.
  • Healthcare Surrogates. A healthcare surrogate makes healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Much like your POA, you want to make sure that your healthcare surrogate is responsible and knows what you want. A healthcare directive, to distinguish the two, is a written order that tells the doctors and hospital managing your care what you want to have happen if you are incapacitated.

With your extra hour, how will you spend it? For one of the days, you can use the extra hour to schedule an estate planning consultation and ensure that you have control of your future (then, of course, you can use the other days’ hours for Netflix, naptime, and relaxing).