Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Know and Understand Essential Probate Financial Planning



Following your death, you want to be absolutely sure that your loved ones are taken care of and your assets are quickly passed to your beneficiaries. Here is a closer look at some of the key aspects of estate planning and a few steps that you can take to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Wills


One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your family and assets after you pass away is establishing a will. A will is nothing more than a legal document that describes what you would like to do with your assets after you pass away. That document can also be used to name your executor and who is going to be the guardian of your children if they are still minors.


Living Trusts


The primary purpose of a living trust is to quickly transfer a deceased party’s assets without going through probate. When the state doesn’t know where the assets are going to go, they are placed in probate, and that process can take years. 




Probate will become even more complicated if one or more parties claim that they are the rightful beneficiaries. To avoid those issues, you should consider establishing a living trust.

Financial Power of Attorney


If you ever become incapacitated, then the individual who has been given financial power of attorney will be able to manage your finances. That type of legal document is going to be incredibly important if you are severely injured and don’t have the ability to pay bills, invest, transfer your assets, or collect retirement benefits. When an individual doesn’t establish power of attorney, all of those important financial transactions are going to be nearly impossible.


Medical Power of Attorney


The medical power of attorney document is very similar to the financial power of attorney document, but the individual can make medical decisions instead of financial decisions. In many cases, these two documents are signed by the same spouse, sibling, or parent. After the paperwork has been signed, that party will be able to make a wide variety of medical decisions if you are ever in an accident or suffering from a serious disease.

Once you have finished your estate plan, you should review and update it at least once every year or two. You must also take a fresh look at all of that paperwork whenever you buy property, sell property, switch jobs, or alter your marriage status.




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