Thinking about the future is not always easy, and many delay considering their own mortality and thinking about what will happen after they pass. Estate planning is an important step for every adult, regardless of age or the value of his or her estate. While having plans in place is critical, it is just as important to approach this process thoughtfully with a long-term perspective.

A thorough estate plan involves much more than just a will. A will is the building block for other important plans, and it primarily deals with the distribution of assets after a person’s death. Another important document for a Louisiana adult is a living will, a type of advanced directive that allows someone to outline his or her wishes for end-of-life care.

A living will works best in conjunction with a health care power of attorney. This document names another person make important choices regarding types of care not specifically mentioned in a living will. A financial power of attorney functions in the same way, allowing another person to make choices related to money management and finances in case of incapacitation.

A thoughtful approach to estate planning can help avoid many problems in the future and ensure that all necessary protections are in place. By thinking long-term, a Louisiana adult can protect his or her own interests, as well as shield the interests of loved ones and beneficiaries. When crafting an estate plan or updating existing plans, it is helpful to work with a legal professional at every step.