4 Essential documents of Estate Planning

Estate Planning is all about managing your assets while living and after death. In this article we will briefly explain this ever expanding field and cover the four main documents everyone should have in their estate plan.
 
Estate planning is how we plan for the unexpected. It includes planning for disability and incapacity. It ensures that our wishes are honored when something happens. It is about how our assets are distributed in life and death, and decreasing our tax liability to ensure our heirs receive as much of our assets as possible. Without this planning, State court systems across the country will appoint someone that handles your assets in a process known as probate. Which means the State’s asset distribution scheme dictates where your assets go instead of you. In order to prevent this from happening, everyone should have an estate plan with at least these four documents.
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A Living Trust: which is used to manage your assets in life and in death. It provides a set of instructions to an appointed trustee that will allow him or her to distribute your assets to heirs and to limit the tax liability on those assets.
 
A Will: is a document that explains how your assets will be distributed in death only.
 
A Financial Power of Attorney: is a document that allows you to appoint someone to handle your personal finances including property in the event you become incapacitated. Parents of minor children can also appoint a guardian to care for their children in the event they pass away.
 
And an Advanced Medical Directive: is a document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf at end of life or in the event you are incapacitated or cannot otherwise communicate for yourself. (to pull the plug or not to pull the plug, who shall decide…)
 
I hope this quick article shed some light on the very basic definition of estate planning, its importance, and the documents required to create an effective estate plan. If you would like to learn more, we invite you to open an account by clicking here!
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