An estate plan is a process of arranging your assets for distribution after your passing. In other words, you’ll designate family, friends and loved ones to inherit from your estate when you die.
While that may seem simple enough, estate planning can be complicated. But, to make estate planning easier for you, it may benefit you to understand what’s included. Here’s what you should consider having in your estate plan:
1. Your will
The most commonly known document of an estate plan is a will. A will is a legal document you’ll include most, if not all, of your final wishes. For example, you’ll likely include details about your funeral arrangements alongside an itemized list of your assets and heirs.
2. The executor of your estate
One aspect of a will is the executor of the estate, who may act as a representative to distribute your estate. Your executor may also be responsible for paying your taxes and debts and contacting interested parties.
3. Your powers of attorney
People often think an estate plan only focuses on what happens after they pass away, however, that’s not entirely true. In your estate plan, you can designate someone to hold your powers of attorney. A power of attorney is an agent who makes financial or medical decisions (or both) on your behalf if you develop a medical condition or suffer an accident that results in your incapacitation.
4. A guardianship designation for your minor children
Additionally, many parents fear what their death would mean if they have young children. In an estate plan, you could name a guardian to care for your children.
5. A trust
Finally, a will can benefit your loved ones greatly, but there are a few downsides, like estate taxes, disputes and probate. To avoid this, people often make trust, a document similar to a will.
More often than not, people have to reach out for legal help to ensure they’re using the right options in their estate plans. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance to meet your needs.