Many believe that a will is all you need to have a proper estate plan. However, an effective estate plan can do so much more than simply designate beneficiaries. With all the necessary components, your estate plan can help your loved ones avoid the probate process, protect your assets, and empower someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to.
What You Need to Include in Your Estate Plan
There are 5 essential components when it comes to creating an estate plan, which can ensure you and your loved ones are prepared for anything.
Here are the components you should include in your estate plan:
- Will/Guardianship Nomination: Just because a will might not be enough to create a solid estate plan does not mean it is not important. If you don’t account for all of your assets or you have minor children, a will can be especially crucial since it allows you to ensure any unaccounted assets are distributed the way you want, and can appoint a guardian for minor children if they lose both of their parents.
- Trust: A trust gives you the ability to determine how you want your assets distributed. For example, if you believe a beneficiary might be reckless with their inheritance, you can set a specific age or rules for when they receive payments, so they do not receive the whole amount before they are ready. A trust will also allow your beneficiaries to avoid the probate process, and more seamlessly transfer your assets.
- Medical directives: If you were to become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions for yourself, having medical directives in place will ensure that a person of your choosing whom you trust will make those decisions for you.
- Power of attorney: Just as you can appoint someone to make health care decisions for you, you can also appoint someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
- Beneficiary designations: You should also make sure your beneficiary designations are always up to date. There are some assets where the only way to control who receives them is by naming a beneficiary.
Hire an experienced estate planning attorney to guide and advise you throughout this process.
Get Started on Creating Your Estate Plan Today!
It is never too soon to start thinking about the future and what you can do to protect your loved ones. At Patton Law Group, our skilled estate planning team will walk you through this process to ensure your goals are met.
Call our law office today at (916) 619-0783 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to get started on creating your estate plan.