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Estate Planning-5 Essential Documents you Must Have

When estate planning is mentioned, a lot of people think that this only means drafting a will or a trust and you’re done. Nonetheless, estate planning entails a lot of other factors that ensure that your assets are transferred to your preferred heirs upon your death. Furthermore, you need to include provisions to ensure that your family members can access or take control of your finances and assets should you become disabled. To make sure that you’ve included everything, it’s important to consult an estate planning attorney, spanish fork. Here are some items you need to have on your estate plan.

Trust or will

Even if you don’t have substantial assets, you need a will or trust. A will ensures that your property is passed according to your wishes. Trusts also limit legal challenges and estate taxes. It’s important to pay attention to the wording. You don’t want a scenario where you’ve assigned the same assets to two different people. This could lead to a will contest and a rivalry between the two people caught up in this situation.

Power of attorney

It’s essential to draft a durable power of attorney so that the person or agent assigned to act on your behalf is at liberty to act in the event of your disability. If you fail to assign this, the court may be forced to decide what happens to your assets in the case you’re found to be mentally incompetent to handle your finances and make decisions.

Have your attorney help you come up with a power of attorney as this is what gives the agent the power to enter into financial transactions, transact real estate and make any decisions on your behalf. Be sure to choose an agent you completely trust and are comfortable with.

Beneficiary designations

A beneficiary designation lists down the people to benefit from your possessions. Have all your insurance plans and retirement accounts contain a beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary if you’ve not already included them in the will. Failure to name your beneficiaries may force the court to decide the next course of action. Only name beneficiaries who are over 21 years and are mentally competent, otherwise the court may have to get involved.

Letter of intent

This is a document left by you to a beneficiary or executor. Its purpose is to decide what you want done with particular assets if you are incapacitated or deceased. Some letters of intent also indicate any special requests you may have had and details of how you’d like your funeral to be.

Healthcare power of attorney

This document allows you to designate another person who will make important t health decisions on your behalf. It can be a family member or a spouse. Always pick someone you trust and would likely recommend something you would agree with. Having a backup agent is recommended in case you initial one is unavailable to act when needed.

Preparing for the unexpected is always important. Have an estate planning help you draft all the important documents that lists your beneficiaries who will get your assets in the event of your death. Having an agent gives you the peace of mind knowing that someone capable is able to make important decisions on your behalf.

Sources

http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/taxes/get-it-done-gather-10-must-have-documents.aspx

http://www.forbes.com/sites/feeonlyplanner/2011/10/21/5-key-estate-planning-documents-to-help-avoid-family-conflicts/#5983686d4e14

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/practical-estate-planning-organize-documents-29660.html