The Basics of Estate Planning

Estate planning is a term you may have heard or have been told that you need to do.

But what exactly is estate planning?

Why should you look into it?

Simply put, estate planning is a way to plan for your death and what happens afterwards.It includes organizing and updating your financial, digital, and other accounts.

With the right estate plan, like a living trust, you can avoid probate and save your family time and money after your death.

Estate planning also includes preparing for the worst - becoming incapacitated and unable to make financial and medical decisions for yourself.

A typical estate plan will include a power of attorney to allow other people to act on your behalf and an advanced health care directive or living will that details your decisions about your medical care.

A complete estate plan will allow your home, business, investments, and other benefits to be seamlessly transferred and administered if you become ill or pass away. You'll also decide what you want to do as far as your burial arrangements.

Everyone could benefit from a simple will, power of attorney, and advanced health care directive.

But, those who really need an estate plan are parents with minor children and the elderly.

The legal documents involved in an estate plan include wills, power of attorney forms, living wills, living trusts, and other types of trusts.

You can get these done yourself through a document preparer (online and offline) or through an attorney. The main difference between the two is that only an attorney can give you legal advice about your situation.

The most important thing is to at least have a simple will, power of attorney, and advanced health care directive.

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