You probably have heard the term “estate planning” at some point, although you may not be sure what it means. Contrary to what a lot of people think, estate planning involves more than just a will. There are several important documents that you may wish to consider including in your estate plan so that it is comprehensive. That way, you will not leave out any provisions for your wishes to be carried out if you become incapacitated and when you eventually pass on.
The purpose of an estate plan is to ensure that your assets transfer to your heirs after you are no longer here precisely according to your wishes. If you feel at a loss regarding which documents to include in your estate plan, you don’t need to worry about that. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can be a tremendous asset in such a situation and they can help you to establish your estate plan so that it is exactly what you want it to be.
The important points to understand about your estate plan
There are several important points that you should understand regarding your estate plan. They are:
- Estate planning is not only for people with numerous, valuable assets. Everyone should have an estate plan so that their assets (no matter what those are) are taken care of according to their wishes.
- If you don’t have a will, a probate court will get involved and that could lead to the court making decisions regarding your assets being distributed in a way that you would not approve of.
- If you are in a situation in which you become incapacitated, your estate plan can cover that as well as events that transpire after your death.
- You should understand that your will is an important part of your estate plan although it is not the only part that matters.
- If you are relatively young and you have minor children, your estate plan is really important because it will identify who you name as guardian(s) if you pass away and your spouse is not capable of caring for your children.
Advice from a New York estate planning attorney
In your estate plan, there are several documents that you should consider including, such as a will and/or trust, a durable power of attorney (which is effective if you become incapacitated), a document that states who your beneficiaries are, a letter of intent, a healthcare power of attorney and a list of appointed guardians to care for your children if that becomes necessary. Your attorney can help you with all of this and it is wise to seek legal counsel to make sure that everything in your estate plan is in order and is exactly what you wish it to be so that your legacy can be handed down successfully.