Your estate plan is can represent the sum total of your plans for your loved ones. If properly prepared it can express your end-of-life wishes, the beneficiaries of your assets and your charitable hopes. Naturally, such a properly planned and executed estate plan will have a few key elements and a number of important documents. So how many pieces is that? It should depend upon your own estate and estate plan of course. Regardless, it’s also helpful to break it down to the key elements of basic estate plan by building a basic checklist.
There are a great number of estate planning lists out there with dozens of ways to list the documents you might need. That noted, MSN Money provided a helpful guide not too long ago with a helpful list of eight documents entitled “Estate-Planning Documents You Need Right Now.”
- Last will and testament
- Revocable living trust
- Beneficiary designations
- Durable power of attorney
- Health care power of attorney and living will
- Provision for digital assets
- Letter of intent
- List of important documents
While you might not need all of these elements, it is important that you know which of those listed is vital to your planning. The original article has more to say concerning each tool and some further resources besides. Do you have unique goals, unique assets, or a unique family? It’s very likely there is more to be done with these documents and a few useful tools besides. Whether your plan will be basic or advanced, it pays to ensure that your affairs are in order with the input and guidance of competent counsel.
You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.
Reference: MSN Money (April 18, 2014) “Estate-Planning Documents You Need Right Now”