To build an estate plan that meets the needs of the estate planner, it is important to know about the different estate planning documents they should consider including in their estate plan. Different estate planning tools can help estate planners develop an estate plan that will accomplish their wishes.
- A will: A will is the most common estate planning document. A will is used to ensure the estate planner’s financial resources and assets are inherited by those they want to inherit them. A will can also name a guardian for the estate planner’s children. If there is no will, the state laws will determine how inheritances will be made.
- Durable power of attorney: A power of attorney can appoint an agent to act on the estate planner’s behalf if the estate planner becomes physically or mentally incapacitated at some point. The power of attorney allows the agent to pay the estate planner’s bills, manage their financial assets, conduct real estate transactions on their behalf and file their taxes.
- Advance healthcare directive: Advance medical directives can be used to outline the types of medical interventions the estate planner wants or does not want. An advance healthcare directive outlines the estate planner’s medical wishes.
- Trust: A trust can expand the estate planner’s options for how they manage their assets. The trustee of the trust holds the assets in the trust fund for the beneficiary. Trusts can be used to avoid probate in some circumstances.
Estate planning documents can help estate planners effectively protect their interests and protect their loved ones. For that reason, they should be familiar with the estate planning tools that can help them do that.