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3 key parts of an estate plan

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Estate Planning

Are you considering making an estate plan? An estate plan can help direct how your assets are handled after your passing.

Before you make an estate plan, it can help to learn what you should include: 

1. A will

The most basic document of an estate plan is the will. A will allows the testator to instruct how their assets are handled and who should inherit from their estate. People who will benefit from the deceased’s estate are called heirs or beneficiaries.

Furthermore, testators can name their executors of the estate. The executor is responsible for handling an estate after the testator’s passing. Essentially, the executor distributes the estate, but they’ll also need to collect death certificates, itemize assets, contact heirs, pay taxes and upkeep properties until the estate is settled.

A testator who has underaged children can name a guardian for them in the estate plans. A guardian would be responsible for caring for and raising a testator’s children if there were any fatal accidents that caused the testator’s death. 

2. A trust

A trust is a legal document similar to a will. People who use trusts put assets in the protection of a trust and under the control of a trustee. Assets can then be distributed for the benefit of family members, charities and pets. Many people create trusts because wills are susceptible to estate taxes, probate and disputes, which can be problematic for heirs. 

3. A power of attorney 

Testators can also name a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a representative who acts on behalf of the testator if the testator is suddenly incapacitated after a traumatic accident or medical condition. The power of attorney is often responsible for handling financial and medical decisions until the testator recovers or passes away.

Estate planning is a complex endeavor that takes lots of time and consideration. If you’re planning your estate, it can help to reach out for legal help to learn your options.