Estate planning is a process that prepares for the transfer of someone’s assets and property after death. It also allows individuals to transfer certain authority in the event of incapacitation due to a medical emergency. Additionally, the estate planning process can be utilized to minimize tax liability, transfer assets during life and to facilitate a host of other beneficial outcomes.
There are a number of potential resources to consider when making an estate plan. Here are just a few of the estate planning documents and designations that you may want to discuss with a knowledgeable attorney.
A will is a standard legal document that’s included in virtually all estate plans. In this document, the testator or will writer can include many important details that will outline what should happen after their death. Typically, a will name family, friends and acquaintances who will benefit from the distribution of the testator’s assets at that time.
Estate executor designation
Furthermore, a will can name an executor of the will creator’s estate. The executor will be responsible for managing the estate after the testator passes away. They may have to validate the will, collect death certificates, secure assets and contact heirs.
Power of attorney designation
A testator may also include a power of attorney designation in their estate plan. A power of attorney is an agent who acts on behalf of the testator. Typically, the power of attorney may only assume authority once the testator is incapacitated due to an injury or a sickness.
Because there is always a risk that a testator who is a parent or guardian of minor children could suddenly die, they need to name a guardian who can oversee the children’s upbringing. No parent wants the state determining who should and should not care for their children in the event of an untimely passing.
If you’re making an estate plan, then it will benefit you to understand your legal options. Estate plans are complex and these are just a few of the resources that you may benefit from including in your unique plan.