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5 parts of an estate plan

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Estate Planning

Every adult needs an estate plan — and not just because it gives them control over how their assets are distributed.

By making a comprehensive estate plan, you protect yourself, as well as your beneficiaries and heirs. Here are five parts of an estate plan you should know about:

1. Will

A will is the most common legal document in an estate plan. This document mainly decides who should benefit from your estate. The people who benefit from your estate are called beneficiaries. You name anyone as a beneficiary. 

2. The executor of the estate

Your will also includes an executor of the estate. An executor is someone you have chosen to manage and distribute your assets, contact beneficiaries, pay debts and taxes and settle your estate. 

3. Trust

A trust is a legal document that works like a will; it can help instruct how your estate is settled. Unlike a will, a trust can avoid estate taxes, disputes and probate.

4. Powers of attorney

You can also use an estate plan to instruct major life decisions if you are incapacitated or experiencing a life-threatening illness. A power of attorney is a representative who can make financial and/or medical decisions on your behalf.

5. Child guardianship

If you have a child, then you may use an estate plan to nominate a guardian for your minor children. A child guardian is someone who would care for your child if you and your co-parent suffered a fatal accident. The guardian would be responsible for raising your child.

Estate planning can be complicated for people who have never gone through the process before. It can help to reach out for legal help to learn about your options.