A lot of people think that all you need to complete your estate planning is to have a will. Much more goes to making a good estate plan and its benefits and advantages are lost on people who don’t bother to do their due research when it comes to all their worldly possessions and what happens to them.
A properly done estate plan will save some money on estate taxes, be designed to avoid probate, choose your proper representative to make decisions on your behalf, and protect all your assets to name a few.
The bare essentials of your estate plan should include your will and a durable power of attorney. Other useful items to include would be medical directives allowing you to assign somebody to make medical decisions on your behalf as well as a trust to manage your estate while you are alive and afterward.
A will, however, will only cover probate property. There are plenty of kinds of property that are outside of probate; properties like life insurance proceeds, properties with beneficiaries, jointly owned properties are a few samples of such properties.
- Power of attorney
People include trusts in their estate planning as a means of avoiding probate. You have the option of setting a revocable living trust that expires when you pass on and your property will immediately be passed on to the beneficiaries, saving a lot of time and effort.
There are numerous other advantages in setting up trusts such as credit shelter or life insurance trusts which have financial benefits. Trusts can also protect your properties from creditors. Always make sure you know the trust laws by consulting with your legal representative.
- Medical directive
Your living will provides instructions on critical medical decisions such as withdrawing life support. Only a qualified Elder Law Attorney can navigate you in the right direction so that you can receive the long term healthcare you require. There are several kinds of medical directives, some covering more specific areas, that you can consider.