An estate plan can be as simple as just a will, but it can also include many other documents and strategies designed to help you reach your individual goals. Working with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney is extremely important for identifying what does and doesn’t belong in your estate plan.
Furthermore, having an established relationship with an estate planning lawyer makes it easier to reach out, should you decide that additional documents are needed. Leaving out even one tool could significantly impact your transfer plans and your beneficiaries in the future, not to mention even your future plans for yourself in the event that you were to become incapacitated.
Here are five documents you should research, contemplate and discuss with your estate planning lawyer to identify whether or not they belong as part of your strategy. They are:
- A living trust that reserves assets for your beneficiaries to avoid expenses and delays with court in probate.
- A healthcare power of attorney to appoint an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.
- A last will and testament to name a guardian for your minor children and determine what happens to your property.
- A living will that names someone else to make your healthcare wishes known if you can’t communicate them.
- A financial power of attorney to handle financial decisions and actions if you’re unable to do so.
Estate planning is for everyone regardless of the perceived size of your estate. Communicating with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in your area is the first step towards identifying the tools, documents and strategies in line with your personal goals and future intentions.