God willing, the wealth you have spent a lifetime building will continue to exist after you have passed away or become incapacitated. Likewise, your duties will also persist after you are no longer able to fulfill them. That is why you need estate planning: It ensures that your wishes for your property, your family and your business will all be fulfilled once you are no longer able to express them.

Everyone’s estates may be different, yet most people share similar estate planning objectives. Here are four of the most common ones, along with the strategies people frequently implement in order to achieve them.

1. Receive the Health Care You Want

If you suffer from a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease or traumatic brain injury, then you may no longer be able to express your desires coherently. This may force your loved ones into a difficult position as they surmise which types of health care you would have wished to receive.

A health care directive preempts that unfortunate scenario. The legally recognized document states your health care wishes, and may also designate whom you wish to make health care decisions on your behalf.

2. Decide Who Will Receive Your Property

You are no doubt familiar with the issues that can arise when someone dies without having created a will. Arguments over who is entitled to real estate, personal property and money can quickly tear a family apart. And when someone dies intestate, their heirs may have to expend considerable time and money setting their affairs in order

That is never the legacy someone would have wanted to leave behind, which is why everyone needs a will. Although the legal document often fails to eliminate discontent among heirs, it does prevent conflict during a time that is already stressful enough.

3. Decide Who Will Receive Ownership of Your Business

If you currently own a successful business, then you have no doubt invested countless hours and extraordinary effort into making it that way. You wouldn’t like to see all that hard work go to waste, just like you wouldn’t like your employees to be without competent leadership in the event of your passing.

Just as it prescribes who will receive your property, your will also names the heir who will assume ownership of your business. That’s why no entrepreneur’s estate plan is complete without a will that addresses the issue of business distribution!

4. Decide Who Will Raise Your Children

Children without named legal guardians are at risk of entering foster care – a government-run system that was created with good intentions, but which is sadly very broken. Individuals who were raised in foster care are less likely to attend college, more likely to do drugs, and also more likely to go to prison.

If you have children who are under the age of 18, then it is imperative to ensure they will always be properly cared for. That is why your will or living trust should specify who would become your children’s legal guardian(s) in the event of your passing. It will keep your children out of a broken system, and give you peace of mind that they will be raised by someone you love and trust.

If you have not yet planned your estate, then you have far too much at stake to delay it one day longer. If you live in the greater Logan, Utah area, then we welcome you to contact Hillyard, Anderson & Olsen today to get started. Our estate planning attorneys are standing by to learn what you hold dear and explain how you can protect it – no matter the circumstances.