Your estate plan is the roadmap your loved ones will follow after you pass away. You need to consider several things when you’re getting this plan together. While many people think about the will to hand down assets, there are a few other points that you need to get in order.
The goal of your estate plan is to ensure your wishes are relayed. These also include what’s going to happen if you become incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself.
Trusts are a tool that makes it easier for your family to get the assets they’re due. These can bypass the probate process, so it’s typically faster for them to get what’s due to them than what’s possible if you use the will. You have to determine the exact type of trust that you want to establish because these have differing stipulations, purposes and protections.
2. Powers of attorney
The power of attorney designation enables the person to make medical or financial decisions for you, depending on which you name them to handle. You can opt to give the same person both types, or you can have someone different for each.
3. Advanced directive
Your advanced directive is a document you provide to your medical care team and your medical power of attorney. It outlines all the predetermined healthcare decisions you’ve already made. One important note is that if you want a do-not-resuscitate order, that requires a specific document.
A comprehensive estate plan is critical to ensure optimal protection for your loved ones. Having everything together can also provide you with peace of mind. Working on the plan with someone familiar with your wishes and the tools to make them happen may reduce your stress as you handle this task.