Often than not, you may wonder if you even need an estate plan, probably because you have few assists or you do not see the need. Any individual can have an estate plan because it contains all the necessary procedures, such as protection and will. If your assets are at risk, they might be divided in a way that won’t suit you, or worse, it become the possession of the state.
Only an estate plan can see your properties being distributed to heirs and beneficiaries you desire after your passing. It also involves giving control to family members when you are incapable of doing so yourself. Thus, making it a beneficial arrangement for you and your loved ones. If you are ready to begin your estate planning process, below are a few must-haves.
A will or trust
Every estate plan must have a trust or will as its component, even with little assets involved.
If you are one of those who think wills and trusts are only for the wealthy, you are incorrect. While you are not the first to assume this – because most people tag it as expensive – a will is a sure-proof way to distribute your properties as desired. When writing your will, state your wishes in clear terms and not bequeath one asset to two people.
Power of attorney
Having a power of attorney drafted is very important; it allows a person you assign the ability to make decisions on your behalf when incapacitated. Most times, in the absence of a power of attorney, the court will have to decide on your behalf if the need arises.
It is essential to assign a trusted friend or family member because such person will have the power to handle your affairs, just like you. That’s why it is vital to seek legal advice before drafting one.
Designation of beneficiaries
A beneficiary becomes vital for assets you wish to pass to someone outside your will. You can maintain beneficiaries on assets such as insurance claims and bank accounts. When a beneficiary is not named on such possessions outside the will, a court may step in to take whatever decision they feel is best. If your stated beneficiary is not up to 21 or mentally capable of handling your assets, the court can also take charge. You will also need an experienced team like us at LCPC legal to guide you through this process.
Picking a designated guardian for your children, both born and unborn, is very important. It is common for many people to forget the guardianship clause in their wills. You should always pick two guardians stating one as a backup. This will help you avoid the court claiming your children as wards of the state when there are no suitable family members to stay with in the event of your passing.
Letter of intent
A letter of intent is not a legally acceptable document but can help inform a judge or family members of your intentions. Such a letter can contain funeral arrangements, reasons for distributing your assets the way you chose to, and another special request. It becomes crucial when you are unclear or have clauses that your family members won’t ordinarily agree on.
In summary, you may not need the elements of an estate plan, but you need essential aspects like the will. Contact us today at LCPC legal to discuss the best strategies that will favor members of your estate when the time comes.