There Are 5 Important Choices in Making an Estate Plan

1. Executor

The executor for a Will or the Successor Trustee for a Trust is the person who will be responsible for your estate after you pass. This is a key person or individual who will carry out your wishes for you.

2. Guardianship

An estate plan allows you to name a guardian for your minor children. If you pass away before they're legally adults, a Will lets you decide who's going to look after your children when you're gone.

The laws that govern what happens if you die without a Will generally dictate your child will go to your spouse or your closest relative, such as a sibling or parent. For some of us, this is not the outcome we want. Choosing a guardian and setting it out legally makes sure your wishes are respected.

3. Power of attorney

In the event of incapacity, an individual, usually a spouse, assumes financial responsibility for managing money. This person pays bills, manages accounts and protects your funds. A power of attorney is valid until death.

4. Health Care Directive

This includes two vital documents: A medical power of attorney which in the event of incapacity allows for medical decisions by another individual. And a Living Will which is the pull the plug document.

5. Assets to beneficiaries

An estate plan is the simplest way to leave important assets to your heirs. Estate planning lets you distribute bank accounts, heirlooms, money and more. Having your assets in a trust, allows for transferring assets to beneficiaries without the need for probate.


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