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Estate planning components you should know about

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is necessary for all adults, so now is the time to get yours set up if you don’t already have a current plan in place. Estate planning encompasses various components, each serving distinct purposes.

Understanding the basic components that you can use to your advantage can offer you peace of mind and a sense of security for the future.

Wills and trusts

Wills and trusts are cornerstone elements of estate planning that make it possible to transfer assets to beneficiaries. Your will spells out how you want certain assets and other points handled after you pass away. A will can also detail the appointment of someone to handle your estate after your death.

Trusts offer a more flexible and often tax-efficient way to manage and distribute assets, both during your lifetime and after your death. Trusts can bypass the often lengthy and public probate process, providing immediate support to beneficiaries according to the terms you set.

Powers of attorney

Powers of attorney are legal documents that allow an individual to appoint another person to make decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated. There are two primary types: a healthcare power of attorney, which grants the designated agent the authority to make medical decisions, and a financial power of attorney, which covers financial and legal decisions.

Guardianship of children

If you have minor children, you should name a guardian for them. This involves selecting a responsible adult to care for your children if you and their other parent were to pass away or become incapacitated. A legal designation of guardianship ensures that children are cared for by someone who aligns with your values and wishes, providing stability and continuity in their upbringing.

Creating a comprehensive estate plan doesn’t have to be a massive challenge. Instead, you can work with a legal representative who can help you to determine what estate planning tools will meet your needs. Having everything set up now can give you peace of mind, but remember to review the plan periodically to ensure it still reflects your wishes over time.