5 Elements of a successful Estate Plan
Regardless of its size, a successful estate plan needs the following 5 elements in place to manage your estate.
- A living will stating the care you want if you become incapacitated and unable to make your wishes known.
- A healthcare power of attorney that names someone to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
- A financial power of attorney granting a person you trust the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf and use your assets to pay your bills if you become incapacitated.
- A will which directs how assets should be distributed upon your death unless the assets have beneficiary designations or are specifically titled.
- A trust, if necessary, to expedite distribution of your estate or provide more control of assets.
You should review these elements regularly and ensure that any directives in your will, trust, asset titles and beneficiary designations align with your goals. The components of your estate plan should reflect the manner by which assets are distributed. Assets are first distributed based on title and ownership and then according to beneficiary on your accounts and insurance policies. Only then do the directives in your will or trust determine the distribution of your remaining assets.
Steven Knecht helps clients with estate planning. With 35+ years of experience, he listens to you to create a legal document that works the way you want it to which may not occur with a document obtained through on-line resources. For more information concerning your estate and trust needs, call and ask for Steven Knecht for a personal consultation.
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