An estate plan is a wonderful gift to give to the next generation. This isn't about the money or the legacy. An estate plan ensures that your kids and loved ones won't have to make cumbersome decisions during an already difficult time. There are three must-have documents to every estate plan you are going to want in place.
1. A Will or Revocable Living Trust
Your Will is a pretty simple document that identifies an executor, which is the person appointed to unwind your estate after death. It will delineate where your assets are going to be distributed. However, it will involve probate court. The basic role of the probate court judge is to assure that the deceased person's creditors are paid, and that any remaining assets are distributed to the proper beneficiaries.
A revocable trust also delineates the distributions of your assets after death. However, a trust is more specific and probate court is not usually needed. A trust may not be right for everyone, which is why it’s worth taking the time to speak with a qualified financial advisor or estate attorney to discuss if a trust would be necessary.
2. A Document Granting Power of Attorney
The agent named in this document will be in charge of managing your assets and making financial decisions in the event you are unable to so before death. Unfortunately, this is one of the main estate documents many people either breeze over or neglect completely.
3. A Medical Directive
Setting up an Medical Directive helps guide doctors and caretakers to make the appropriate decisions on your behalf. It’s important to consider your medical decisions. By specifying how and when to proceed with specific treatment plans, you’ll take the pressure off of loved ones to follow your wishes.
At Taatjes Financial Group, we do so much more than just reviewing investments. Helping you build an estate plan is another way we add value to our clients. We can make sure your estate documents are in place and your accounts are titled properly.