A basic estate plan may include something like a will and properly filed beneficiary designations with any accounts that pass assets that way. However, an incomplete estate plan can cause unnecessary stress for your loved ones as well as confusion. It also increases the chances of an estate planning dispute among your beneficiaries when you pass away.
Therefore it’s best to ensure that your plan includes these essential documents. If you need assistance and better understanding which of these apply to your situation, talk to an estate planning lawyer.
The key documents most people will want to review, if not put directly into their estate plan, include:
- A power of attorney for healthcare, which appoints another individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to
- Beneficiary designations for pensions, life insurance policies, and IRA accounts
- Last will and testament
- Funeral instructions
- Durable financial power of attorney
- Proof of identity documents such as birth certificate, Social Security card, divorce or marriage certificates, and any prenuptial agreements
- Loans or deeds for large assets such as boats, homes, or other vehicles.
Working directly with an estate planning lawyer will make it much easier for you to navigate this process. Contact a qualified attorney to discuss which of these documents or plans belong in your estate and how to review these materials on a regular basis to increase the chances that your estate plan stays in line with what you need as your life events evolve. Let our Pasadena lawyers help answer your questions on estate and trust issues.