Have you overlooked an estate plan because you feel like you won’t need one? Here’s an important thing to remember: your estate plan is just as much about your beneficiaries as it is about you.
Educating yourself about the core components of an estate plan is a good starting point in your research. However, your customized estate plan will depend on your unique needs and these should always be discussed with an estate planning attorney.
This is because you will need to understand the laws in your state and an attorney who specializes in probate and estate planning can help you align your individual goals with your documents. The vast majority of estate plans include a couple of core components. These are:
- A trust, which enables you to transfer property without your loved ones having to go through probate. A trust can also be beneficial for adding a layer of privacy and controlling your assets while you’re still alive and after you pass away.
- A durable power of attorney, which gives another appointed party the authority to act on your behalf in legal or financial matters.
- A last will and testament, which is the foundation of your estate plan to enable a smooth transition to a child’s new guardian, naming an executor to oversee the probate process and deciding who receives your property.
- A living will. A living will applies only to end of life care but allows you to specify your desires related to life prolonging measures.
Your estate plan is like a living toolkit of strategies aligned with your personal goals. You might need to fold in other options over time or to make revisions to existing documents and strategies.
Schedule a consultation with a trusted estate planning lawyer today to discover more. Our Pasadena law office helps with the creation of estate plans on a regular basis.