There is much more to planning an estate than just writing a will. Proper estate planning is vital and will ensure that everything will be taken care of after death. To create a comprehensive estate plan, follow these tips.
Create a Will or Trust
A will or trust is essential to any estate plan. Creating a will will make sure that your property is taken care of according to your wishes. Creating a trust will distribute your assets in a similar way to a will and can help avoid legal conflicts and limit taxes on the estate. To avoid issues when drafting a will or trust, ensure that your writing is consistent with your writing in other documents such as insurance policies.
Draft a Power of Attorney
Drafting a Power of Attorney (POA) is extremely important when estate planning. This document will state the name of the person you choose to act on your behalf and handle your affairs if you are unable to while you are still living. If you are suddenly found unfit to handle your affairs on your own and you do not have a POA drafted, a court may be able to make the decisions for you. This could lead to trouble and stress if those choices are not what you wanted. Be prepared for anything and draft a POA so your affairs will be handled by someone you trust and conducted according to your wishes.
Designate a Beneficiary
Naming a beneficiary ensures that contract assets will be passed along to the individual you wish. Without a beneficiary, contract assets could be distributed to heirs even if it is not denoted in your will. Designating a beneficiary will ensure that your assets that are controlled by contract will work hand in hand with your will. Additionally, designating a contingent beneficiary, a beneficiary that will receive the assets if the primary beneficiary is deceased or unable to assume responsibility, is an important back up plan. If you do not have a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary for contract assets such as your 401k, those assets could be handled by a court.
Work With an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
The best and easiest way to create an effective and comprehensive estate plan is to work with an expert. This will ensure your documents are in compliance with state law, and that you are not missing any critical information in regards to your asset distribution. Sit down with your estate planning attorney each year to ensure your documents are up to date with your wishes. Your estate planning attorney will also help you compile and organize important documents so you can easily access them.
Don’t go through Estate Planning alone. Contact our team today so we can help you plan your estate free from stress!