Estate plans are complicated legal documents that include many considerations. Planning your estate shouldn’t be difficult, however.
If you’re looking to plan your estate, you may find it easier after knowing what to include. Here’s what you should know:
Wills and trusts
The most basic legal document included in your estate plan is a will. A will details how your assets should be distributed after you pass away. Your will could even include a guardian for any minor children and your funeral arrangements.
Typically, the wills go through a probate process. This legal process is the first step a court will take when administering the deceased’s estate and assets to heirs.
In some cases, trustees want to speed up the probate process and cut back on taxes through a trust. Trusts are essential for trustees who want to ensure their beneficiaries inherit their allotted estate. In addition, trustees can put limitations on trusts so beneficiaries don’t irresponsibly spend their inheritance.
An executor of the estate
Someone has to carry out the protection and maintenance of an estate when you die, this role is typically left to an executor of an estate.
You’ll likely name an executor when setting up your estate plan. They’ll do many things such as gather copies of your death certificate, protect valuables and pay taxes and debt.
Powers of attorney (POA)
Last but not least, your estate plan should include powers of attorney (POAs). A POA is designated to someone trustworthy to make decisions on your behalf. Typically, but not always, POAs are for the benefit of a testator who can’t make decisions for themselves or is considered incapacitated.
There are many important legal considerations when making an estate plan. You may need to reach out for legal help to know your options.