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5 important features of an estate plan

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Have you ever made an estate plan? You, like millions of others, may not know where to start. 

To understand what’s included in an estate plan, then you should consider reading the following:

1. Will

A will is the most basic legal document included in an estate plan. This document outlines your last wishes and how you intend to distribute your estate. That being said, you’ll include an itemization of your estate and beneficiaries in your will. 

2. The executor of the estate

Additionally, you’ll also need to name a representative to distribute your estate, this is called an executor of the estate. An executor will handle much more than asset distribution; for example, they’ll have to collect your death certificate and contact interested parties.

3. Powers of attorney

One often overlooked aspect of an estate plan is the power of attorney. A power of attorney is a representative who acts on your behalf if you’re incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions on your own. Most people name a general power of attorney to handle both financial and medical decisions, but they can be separate designations.

4. Trust

There are some issues with a will, for example, your heirs will likely need to wait for probate to end before they see any assets and your estate may be susceptible to estate taxes. Because of this, many people create a trust, which is a legal document that promises assets to heirs without many repercussions.

5. Guardianship

If you have a child, then you may worry about what would happen to them if you suddenly died. By naming a guardian in your estate plan, you can have your fears resolved. A guardian will take care of your child in your place.

The above is only a fraction of what you may need to know about estate planning. If you’re considering making an estate plan, experienced legal guidance can help you get the right plan for your family’s needs.