Estate planning is not necessarily something pleasant to be considered. It involves making plans for your family members after you pass away, and no one wants to think about that time. However, that time will come for all of us, and making plans for your assets will alleviate some of the stress on your family members. If you don’t make plans for your assets upon your death, they will need to make guesses about your intentions, and in many cases, they could end up in court. Especially when it comes to your estate in Brazil, it is not advisable to start planning too late.
Things to Bear in Mind
The first step you must take in estate planning is writing out your will. However, there are a few different items you’ll also need to outline during this process. You might want to write up the following:
- Will – Your will is the legal document that outlines where your property will go when you die. This should include everything you own, including property, money, personal items, and pets.
- Living Will – Your living will on the other hand is a legal statement that defines your desires for medical treatment in case you can’t make decisions on your own. Some people for example decide they do not want to be kept alive on a feeding tube if they find themselves unable to function. Making a living will while you are still conscious and functioning can save your family the heartache of making those difficult decisions should you ever be in a vegetative state.
- Designation of Guardian – If you have children or other family members that you are solely responsible for, it is important that you make it clear who should take care of them in the event of your death. Many people make these plans verbally with loved ones, but setting up a legal document will abolish all doubt when the time actually comes.
- Institutional Endowments – If there are certain organizations that you feel passionately about and would like to donate to in the event of your death, you ought to consider making an institutional endowment to them.
Drawing up these documents is never easy, so finding an experienced attorney to help you do so will benefit you. In some cases, your family will need to make difficult decisions for you before you are actually gone. Should you be unable to make decisions for yourself based on a medical accident, or even if you are in the United States and need decisions made on behalf of your property in Brazil, you should appoint a power of attorney. Power of attorney is a legal institute which gives the person you trust the right to make any legal, medical and personal decisions when you are unable to do so for one reason or another.
The Importance of Estate Planning in Brazil
To assure your family is taken care of when you pass away, you should not overlook other important parts of estate planning. If you own a business, you’ll need to make sure there is an organized plan set in place if something happens. If no one is appointed as the owner in the event of your death, there will be much confusion and chaos, and your business could easily go under. Such a plan is easy to overlook, so it’s important that you speak with an attorney about every aspect of your estate plan.