Estate planning can be a rewarding process that helps families handle their deceased loved one’s estate. Estate planning is a process that testators will do in anticipation of their passing. It’s also a legal process that can handle more than just asset distribution.
To better understand what estate planning can do for you, you may need to learn what you’ll need to include. Here’s what you should know:
A will is the most basic and commonly made document in an estate plan. Testators will name beneficiaries and assets for the distribution process. Without a will, a testator would die intestate. Intestate means that a valid will was never made and the state had to decide how an estate is handled.
Executor of the estate
An executor of the estate is a representative who handles estate matters after the testator dies and during the probate process. Probate gives executors time to contact heirs, allocate assets, collect death certificates, pay taxes and many more estate matters. Testators often name someone close and trusted as their executors.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a representative who can help testators through troubling times. The power of attorney role is to act on behalf of the testator if they suddenly become incapacitated. The power of attorney may then be required to handle medical and financial matters.
Sometimes a will isn’t enough since heirs may not be able to avoid estate taxes and probate. Testators may instead create a trust. A trust is a document that allows a trustee to hold onto assets until the time is right. Some people make trusts that give assets to heirs upon death, while others create clauses that allow heirs to use assets at important times, such as for college.
Understand your legal options
There is so much more an estate plan can do. You may need to reach out for legal help to learn more about your options.