Are you making an estate plan? An estate plan can greatly help you if you wish to anticipate your death and dictate what happens afterward.
If you’ve never made an estate plan before, then here are some things you should know:
1. Dying without a will is called intestate
Many people die intestate. As a result, their last wishes aren’t met. This means that the state would have to step in to govern how an estate is handled. This could cause some family members to lose out on their inheritance.
2. Many people update their estate plans regularly
Estate plans can be revised. This helps many people when they add to an estate and wish to document it in their estate plans. An updated estate plan can also be useful after a marriage or divorce or after a family member gave birth.
3. A will and a trust are not the same
A will and trust both serve to distribute assets respectfully, but they aren’t the same legal documents. A will is a basic document in your estate plan, and it can be disputed and taxed. A trust can protect assets from those issues by putting assets in the hands of a trustee.
4. You can have more than one power of attorney
You have the option to name a power of attorney to help handle your financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you suddenly become incapacitated. You can name two people to handle your finances and medical decisions. This can be helpful if you wish to make financial decisions, such as buying a business, through a power of attorney.
5. You should have legal assistance when making an estate plan
Even if you’re a “do-it-yourself” kind of person, trying to craft an estate plan on your own without legal help is unwise. Experienced guidance can help you learn about the right way to protect your legacy.