Estate Planning is a key element of a successful financial strategy. It ensures you will leave a legacy that provides for your loved ones by properly protecting and distributing your wealth according to your wishes.
There are several things that may or may not be a part of your estate plan, depending on your situation. The most popluar estate planning documents and approaches are:
1). Will – this is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. It also names an executor to manage your affairs and distribute your assets.
2). Trust – Not every estate plan will include a trust. Trusts can be very useful for individuals with significant assets and complex family situations. There are several types of trusts that include but are not limited to revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts and special needs trusts. Your unique situation would determine if and what kind of trust might benefit your estate plan.
3). Power of Attorney – this legal document gives a specified person that authority to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated or not able to do so for yourself. This can be a Healthcare POA, Financial POA or a general POA that covers most things and is not limited to one particular area.
4). Choosing your beneficiaries – your investment accounts allow you the opportunity to name a beneficiary or beneficiaries to avoid being part of your estate. It is important to review and update beneficiary information as circumstances change.
It is important to remember that estate planning is an ongoing process, and it is important to review and update your plan regularly as your circumstances change. Estate Planning can be complex, and an experienced attorney can work alongside your financial advisor to help ensure the most comprehensive plan for your needs. Hughes Retirement Group has several attorneys that we work with, along with our clients, to provide the most holistic approach to their financial situation.