What are the essential parts of a basic estate plan?
Everyone in New York knows it’s important to plan for the future, but people tend to avoid thinking about what will happen after they are gone. This can be a mistake. Estate planning allows people to plan for their futures and those of the people they love the most.
The estate planning process can be complicated and people have different options depending on what they want to accomplish. However, there are parts of an estate plan that everyone should consider regardless of their situation.
Three main parts of a basic estate plan
One part of the plan and the one most people think about when they think about their estate plan is a will. This document state’s one’s wishes for where they want their property to go after they pass away. This may also be accomplished through a trust, and indeed, trusts can offer some advantages over wills.
Another important document is a living will, which is also called a healthcare directive. These documents allow people to name another person or people to make medical decisions for them if they are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. Healthcare directives also allow people to state their wishes for their health care while they are incapacitated since they would be unable to direct the care at that time.
The third document that people should have is a power of attorney. This document allows people to designate another person to act on their behalf for most financial transactions and other legal matters. People can state that they want the power of attorney to act on their behalf if they are incapacitated, which is important since obligations may continue during that time period.
Each part of an estate plan must meet certain requirements in order to be deemed valid and enforceable when the time comes to use them. Experienced attorneys understand people’s options for their estate plan and may be able to help one design one that meets their specific needs.