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4 things to include in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

An estate plan allows a testator to instruct how their estate is handled once they pass away. 

There’s a lot to understand when making an estate plan. Here’s what you may need to include:

Your list of heirs

A will typically includes an itemization of assets. It also includes a list of people who should benefit from the will. Your heirs can include anyone that might be friends and close relatives, such as spouse, children and siblings. These people will likely be contacted shortly after the testator’s passing and notified about what they should expect to inherit. 

The executor of the estate

A will also typically includes an executor of the estate. The executor is responsible for validating and filing the will to start probate. Probate allows the executor time to contact beneficiaries, file taxes, collect death certificates, contact banks, pay debts and disperse assets. Depending on how complex the estate is, probate can last over a year.

Power of attorney

The testator can also name a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a representative who acts on behalf of the testator if they were to be incapacitated after an accident or medical condition. The power of attorney can decide how a testator’s medical and financial decisions are made until the testator recovers or passes away.

A guardian recommendation

Many parents name a guardian for their minor children in their estate plans. A child’s guardian is meant to take over the responsibilities of raising a child if their parents suddenly and unexpectedly pass away. Designating this person tells the court who you want to take care of your child if anything happens to you.

If you’re looking to plan out the future, then you may need to reach out for legal help. Estate plans can be more complicated than a lot of people realize, and you want to make sure that you get everything right.