For many people, taking the first step toward starting the estate planning process can seem daunting. But, if you know the basics, getting started on an estate plan will probably seem a bit easier.
So, what do you need to know about estate planning basics? Well, for starters, a truly comprehensive estate plan will usually consist of more than just a will. Yes, a will is typically the bedrock of most estate plans — the document that lets you provide details of how you want your estate to be distributed and to who — but there is more to estate plans than that. For example, you may want to consider whether or not a trust is right for you. Or, you may want to coordinate charitable giving from your estate.
But, an estate plan is also about more than just dealing with your assets after you die. You’ll probably want to have power of attorney documents as well, which can appoint another person to make important financial and medical decision on your behalf. You’ll also likely want to have an advance health care directive, in which you can provide details about how and when you would like lifesaving medical treatment or end of life care to occur, if necessary.
Your plan, your goals
Understanding what you want to accomplish with your estate plan is the key to the whole process. Once you figure that out, getting the right documents for your needs shouldn’t be too daunting.