Essential Elements of a Good Estate Plan

An estate plan is a fairly complex document, and while you may assume you can draft it on your own, there are various stipulations, conditions, and factors you might overlook. Having an estate planning and probate lawyer makes things much more convenient:





Will

A will acts as the foundation of an estate plan, generally being one of the first documents a probate lawyer will recommend you to draft. With a will, you can declare the administer of your estate upon your death, along with the dutiful distribution of your property and assets.



With a will, the distribution of assets and properties takes place according to your wishes and demands rather than other state criteria. In case you have minor children, you can also pick someone to be their appointed guardian once you or the child’s parent pass away.


Trust

A trust is a legal structure that protects the trustor’s assets on behalf of the trustor and the beneficiaries of the estate. Each trust has an assigned trustee, who manages all of the assets and ensures that they’re distributed among the beneficiaries. The terms for distribution are set by the grantor or the maker of the trust. While trusts can be of many forms, there are two major categories in general.


Revocable trusts allow you to pass your assets onto your heirs, not requiring probate. Irrevocable trusts also allow your family to minimize their estate taxes costs.


Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document that designates a person to manage various financial and personal affairs in your absence. The power of attorney can also be used for signing documents on behalf of the principal when they’re occupied, but generally is used when they’re suffering from an illness, a temporary or permanent disability, and can’t attend to different matters on their own.


Health Care Directive

A health care directive is similar to a power of attorney but is restricted only for medical decisions. These consist of two types of documents. A living will allow the principal to give instructions that they want to be taken regarding various medical procedures, which generally take place once they’re incapacitated or unable to direct on their own in any case.

On the other hand, the health care proxy assigns another person to dictate health care decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to make those choices yourself. Health care directives are good for providing families closure that the right decisions that you would’ve respected are taken.


Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations allow you to assign various assets to be paid from upon your death. These include life insurance policies, retirement accounts, bank or brokerage accounts, or pensions.


Preparing an estate plan during your lifetime can lead to a lot of ease for your loved ones. It’s best to have an estate planning and probate lawyer to help you draft everything with attention to detail. At McLeskey Law Offices, we’re a creditors rights law firm based in Columbus, Ohio, experienced in probate law, helping families and estates deal with probate law issues, allowing them to move on amicably. Reach out today if you seek a probate law or litigation lawyer.

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