We all know and love Harry Potter and his many adventures: from fighting dragons to saving his friends in times of trouble to defeating Voldemort himself! Harry Potter’s bravery and heroism pull you in and hold you captivated from start to finish, keeping you rooting for him to the very end. But, with so many heroic moments come the accompaniment of a lot of risk, and with risk comes the need for an Estate Plan. Yes, even wizards can benefit from Estate Plans! You never know what events may come about when saving the world as a wizard, just like you can never know what could happen in your everyday life.
Trust & Will, a leader in online estate planning services, knows how important it is to have a comprehensive Estate Plan, and we want to help you avoid common mistakes. Looking at Harry Potter and his story, we can find examples of estate planning mistakes that we want to help you avoid. Keep reading to learn about the following examples of estate planning in Harry Potter and find out what went wrong and what you can do better.
Here are three examples of where estate planning would have benefited or did benefit Harry Potter and this cast of characters:
Losing Your Parents and Becoming an Orphan
One of the very first things you learn in Harry Potter’s story is that his parents died when he was only a baby, leaving Harry orphaned and sent to live with his aunt and uncle who often mistreat him and even hide the truth about him being a wizard. Harry Potter ends up living with his aunt and uncle as he has no one to take care of him, leaving Professor Dumbledore to decide where he must live. However, if Harry Potter’s parents had created Nomination of Guardianship documents, things may have ended up differently.
What are Nomination of Guardianship documents?
Nomination of Guardianship documents are legal documents that allow parents to choose someone who will become the Legal Guardian of their minor children in the event that they both pass away unexpectedly. This will allow you to rest easy knowing that your children will have someone you trust to take care of and protect them no matter what happens. Creating Nomination of Guardianship documents would have helped Harry Potter, as he may not have been forced to live with his aunt and uncle, who his parents did not have a good relationship with.
Lack of Control Over Healthcare
Throughout Harry Potter, there are often moments where the characters are incapacitated for one reason or another. One example of this is in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Professor Lockhart’s spell backfires on himself, wiping his memory completely clean. He then has to be sent to St. Mungos, the wizard hospital where he has to live out the rest of his remaining life, as he can no longer care for himself. In times like this, an Advanced Healthcare Directive would be beneficial.
What Is an Advanced Healthcare Directive?
An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a legal document that allows you to specify how you want your healthcare to be handled in the event that you cannot make the decisions for yourself any longer. Professor Lockhart’s case is a perfect example of this. Without an Advanced Healthcare Directive, you will have no control over the decisions that are made for you, such as how your injuries are treated. If Professor Lockhart had created an Advanced Healthcare Directive, he would have been able to lay out specific rules and instructions for how he wanted his healthcare to be handled when he could no longer be responsible for deciding for himself.
Distributing Your Assets
Towards the end of the Harry Potter series, Harry’s trusted confidant and advisor, Albus Dumbledore, dies. When Dumbledore dies, he leaves Harry with a difficult task: to defeat Voldemort. Nevertheless, Dumbledore offers his assistance from the grave by leaving Harry and his friends with a few of his things to help ensure their success. Dumbledore does this by creating a Will and leaving the important assets to Harry and his friends.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that allows someone to decide who they want their assets to go to. Assets are any items you may own that you leave behind, including money, property, jewelry, or in the case of Albus Dumbledore: a snitch, a sword, a book, and a magical item known as a Deluminator. By creating a Will, Albus Dumbledore was able to leave some of his assets to Harry and his friends in order to defeat Voldemort. Had he not created a Will, they may not have been able to receive those assets.
However, one thing that Dumbledore could have done differently was notify Harry and his friends that he would be leaving them items in his Will and explain how to use them. A large theme throughout the rest of Harry’s journey is that he does not know what the assets were meant to be used for. This can easily be resolved by either explaining to your beneficiaries in advance why you are leaving them certain items, or give an explanation in the Will as to why you made your decision.
You never know what the future may hold, and even wizards cannot predict what may happen! Estate planning can help ensure you are more prepared for unexpected situations, and it will give you the opportunity to look out for yourself and loved ones. We’re standing by, ready to help. Creating an Estate Plan online with Trust & Will is so easy– you won’t feel like you need magic to figure it out! Get started today!