An estate planning involves the anticipation of a testator’s passing and the preparation of estate distribution.
Estate plans are a lot more complicated than that, however. Here’s what is included:
A will is the most basic legal document that’s made in an estate plan. You’ll include your last wishes and testament in your will. Your last wishes may include funeral arrangements and how you wish to be buried. While your testament will dictate how your assets are distributed after your death.
You’ll name heirs who will inherit from your estate plan. If you name multiple beneficiaries, you can divide up your estate so that heirs are given some or all of your assets as you choose. You may even wish to name contingent beneficiaries so that if anything happens you’ll have a backup heir.
Executor of the estate
After your passing, the executor of the estate will be responsible for administering your estate. They may have to gather death certificates, collect benefits and contact heirs and interested parties. They may also be responsible for verifying your estate plans during probate.
Power of attorney
An estate plan primarily oversees what happens after you die, but there are some features that may be used while you’re alive, such as a power of attorney. A power of attorney is an agent who acts on your behalf if you’re incapacitated. They can help with your financial and medical decisions when you can’t make them alone.
You may also wish to name a child guardian in your estate plan. A child guardian can be anyone who can take on the responsibility of the care of your children if you suddenly pass away or are incapacitated.
Some people want to be sure that their assets are protected for a beneficiary. A will may take out estate taxes, meaning heirs may not get the full amount of their inheritance. One way to avoid this – and probate – is by making a trust.
If you have questions or concerns when making an estate plan, you may need to reach out for legal help.