When you plan your estate, it can be tempting to only write a will. However, while this can simplify the estate planning process today, it may not give you or your loved ones the protection you need in the future. By considering the wide variety of estate planning documents available to you, you can create a plan that addresses the unique details of your life, your family and your estate.
From naming a guardian to your children to outlining how the property you own should be distributed after your death, a will is the foundation of most estate plans.
Trusts often work alongside wills to create a more detailed plan for your assets. Trusts also have distinct benefits, including avoiding estate taxes, maintaining beneficiaries’ ability to receive public assistance and keeping the details of your estate private.
3. Medical power of attorney
If you become incapacitated, a medical power of attorney allows your representative to choose your healthcare provider and make decisions about what medicine you take or treatments you receive.
4. Financial power of attorney
Like medical power of attorney allows your representative to make decisions about your healthcare if you become too ill or injured to do so yourself, financial power of attorney allows one person or multiple people you trust to make legal decisions. This can include making investments, paying bills, selling property and signing legal documents.
5. Letters of intent
As Investopedia notes, legal documents are not the only documents to consider in your estate plan. A letter of intent may not be legally binding, but it can help detail your wishes to your agent, your beneficiary or your estate’s executor. Details to address in a letter of intent can include your wishes for funeral arrangements, how you want specific assets to be handled or other details that may not fit neatly into another estate planning document.
When you create your estate plan, you should consider all your options so that you can create an estate plan that provides for your loved ones and protects what matters most.