Estate planning is the process of both passing on your assets to your loved ones, as well as making sure your wishes are known and carried out during your lifetime as well as after your death. Knowing what is involved when it comes to estate planning is important, especially considering the extent of the process and the multiple factors involved.
The first basic document involved in planning your estate is your Last Will and Testament. In your Will, you can indicate who you want to receive your assets and how much. You can also bequeath money to a charity or other organization. Your Will allows you to designate a guardian for any minor children you may have at the time of your death. You can even indicate preferences for burial and funeral arrangements. Finally, your Will allows you to name as executor the person you want to be in charge of doing the work necessary to carry out your wishes.
Once the scope and size of your estate has been established, you will then need to determine the value of your assets and who will inherit them. An estate executor will also need to be chosen. This person will be responsible for managing your assets and making decisions in your interest if you are unable to do so. The latter point is especially important if you are raising a family, as you will want to be sure your children are in safe hands in the event you are no longer able to take care of them.
Even if your estate is small, you will still want to designate a property executor. As for those with a large asset portfolio, creating an estate plan will help ensure the division of your property is carried out as you intended.
The above information is just a small glimpse into the full extent of the estate planning process. There are other documents to consider, including a Power of Attorney, Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Trust, etc. While there is much more detail involved, knowing the basics of estate planning will allow you to have a better sense of the importance of planning out the division of your assets while you are still able to do so.
This blog is written and published by Godbey & Associates.