Estate Planning is more than creating a Will

Important Estate Planning Documents

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Some people believe that estate planning is just all about creating a will, and nothing more. However, the truth is that there is more to estate planning than creating a will. Estate planning involves the creation of other legal documents like beneficiary designations, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, trust, etc.

I understand that some of you may not be aware of some of these legal documents, including their uses. Thus, below, I have decided to provide you with details regarding these must-have documents.

Important Estate Planning Documents

  • Durable power of attorney

If you become incapacitated, you won’t be able to make some decisions yourself. That is where a durable power of attorney come in. This legal document allows you to select an individual to make those important financial and legal decisions on your behalf.

  • Will

Of course, the first on the list is a will. A will is a very important estate planning document. In fact, an estate plan is not complete without a will. A will is a legal document that contains the wishes of the estate owner. This legal document contains information regarding how the estate owner wants his assets to be shared, whom he wants a specific asset to be bequeathed to, etc.

A will also contains the name of the estate executor. An estate executor is an individual charged with ensuring that the wishes of the estate owner are fulfilled. In addition, it is the job of the estate executor to ensure that the probate process is carried out smoothly.

  • Healthcare power of attorney

A healthcare power of attorney is a document that allows you to choose an individual to make crucial healthcare decisions on your behalf if you get incapacitated.

If you want to create a healthcare power of attorney, ensure you select someone who you can trust. It is also important that you designate someone who shares your views, and who is likely to recommend a course of action you approve. Moreover, this individual could literally have your life in his or her hands. 

  • Letter Of Intent

A letter of intent is a document left to your executor or beneficiary. The purpose is to state what you want to be done to a certain asset after your demise or incapacitation. Some letter of intent contains information regarding how the estate owner wants to be buried. Unlike a will, a letter of intent in not valid in the eyes of the law. However, due to its important, you are advices to create one while planning your estate.

  • Beneficiary Designations

As said earlier, there are a lot of possessions you can transfer to your heirs without being dictated in the will (example are 401(k) plan assets). This is why it is essential to maintain beneficiary-including a contingent beneficiary-on such account. Insurance plans should consist of a beneficiary and a continent beneficiary as well because they might also pass outside a will.

If you fail to designate a beneficiary, or if the beneficiary is dead or unable to serve, a court could be left to outline how your funds will be managed and shared. And frankly, a judge who is not aware of your situation, beliefs, or intent is unlike to make the same choices you would have made.

Worthy to note is that, designated beneficiaries should be more than 21 years of age and mentally competent if they aren’t, a court may end up getting involved in the case

  • Trust

A trust is a legal vehicle that enables an estate owner to transfer assets to beneficiaries. In a trust setting there is the grantor, the trustee and the beneficiaries. The grantor is the owner of the trust. The trustee is an individual or firm charged with managing the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries (third party). The beneficiaries are people designated by the grantor to inherit his or her assets at a certain time. A trust has several benefits, one of which is that it is effective in preventing the time-consuming, stressful, and costly probate process.

Estate Planning Attorney Brooklyn

If you want to plan your estate, you can always count on the services of an estate planning attorney, Brooklyn. An estate planning attorney Brooklyn can help you plan your estate the way you want it. As a professional, an estate planning attorney is cable of pro viding you with valuable advice regarding your estate planning decisions.

Contact an estate planning attorney, Brooklyn, Now!

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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