There is significant value in having an estate plan. Estate planners should be familiar with the benefits of estate planning and what estate planning can do for them so they can develop an estate plan that is best for them and their family.
What an estate plan can do
There are several important functions of an estate plan including:
- Who gets the estate planner’s property and assets, including money, when they pass;
- Who will take care of the estate planner’s children when they pass;
- Determining if there is enough money in the estate planner’s estate to provide for their family and loved ones after they pass;
- Who will manage the estate planner’s estate once they have passed;
- What are the tax ramifications of the estate planner’s estate plan and what impact will it have on the estate planner’s loved ones;
- What will happen to the estate planner’s finances if they become incapacitated and who will direct their healthcare if they become incapacitated; and
- What will happen to the ownership of a family business when the estate planner passes if they have one.
An estate plan usually includes the estate planner’s will and can include a trust. It can also include a living will and a power of attorney for medical care and finances. The estate planner’s will designates beneficiaries who will receive their property and assets, an executor and can also specify a guardian for their minor children. A living will and powers of attorney for healthcare and finances can help protect the estate planner if they become incapacitated. A trust can also be included and can provide several different benefits as well.
Estate planning can be a complex process and there are a variety of different requirements associated with an estate plan. For that reason, it can help to have trained guidance through the process of developing an estate plan that achieves the estate planner’s wishes and protects their loved ones.