Estate planning is never something you want to think about. Unfortunately, it is something that you have to consider, particularly when you own property.
When you create your estate plan, there are a few documents that no estate plan is complete without.
Will or trust
Regardless of how many assets you have, a will or trust is an absolute necessity. Wills and trusts let you designate who you want to get your assets. You can do a general will, or you can assign everything to specific people.
Power of attorney
This allows someone to act on your behalf if you cannot do it yourself. Although it is an unpleasant thought, it is a reality for many people. If there is no power of attorney, the courts may decide to take over and distribute assets as they see fit. This might not be the way that you wanted.
Letter of intent
Letters of intent are relatively self-explanatory. It is a letter to your executor about what you want them to do with particular assets and how you want your burial to go. Although it might not be entirely binding, it can help the courts decide what you want. You can also use it to convey any special requests.
Ultimately, your estate plan outlines who you want to give what. You can pass almost anything on to your heirs, but they may not distribute it the way you want if you do not state it. If you don’t name a beneficiary, the judge might just split it how they feel is equitable.
These documents are essential for any good estate plan. Make sure yours has them.