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Estate Planning Basics

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is crucial for everyone. However, many people do not realize this and do not know where to begin. The process can sound intimidating and confusing, but it does not have to be. Reading this post is a good first step in your estate planning journey.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the best way to make sure your property and healthcare wishes are handled the way you want. Creating an estate plan can save your loved ones time, money and stress during the last stages of your life.

Estate plans resolve legal questions such as:

  • What property do you own?
  • What accounts do you have?
  • What is the state of your finances?
  • Who gets what in terms of your property and possessions?
  • How will your debts get paid?
  • What funeral arrangements are appropriate?
  • What are your healthcare preferences and wishes?

These are all important questions that will need to be answered. Having an estate plan in place takes care of it and helps your loved ones accurately carry out your wishes.

What Should My Plan Include?

Beginning this process can be complex, but there’s no better time to start than now. Most people’s estate plans include several documents:

  • Will/trust – for distributing property and assets
  • Durable power of attorney – to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf
  • Beneficiary designations – determines who your accounts transfer to
  • Letter of intent – outlines your healthcare and other wishes
  • Guardianship designations – in the case of minor children

These are the fundamentals of an estate plan. These five documents can help you begin your estate plan and cover the basics.

Estate planning is often considered an unpleasant topic, but it is incredibly important for everyone to think about. A secure, efficient estate plan saves your loved ones a lot of trouble in the long run and helps you ensure your wishes are upheld. This process can be complex and challenging, but it is more than worth doing.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe