At first glance, you may be under the impression that all an estate plan is for is to designate heirs who will benefit from the distribution of your assets. Additionally, you may have funeral arrangements made and cost accommodations in your estate plans.
However, you’ll likely have to consider much more than that before your estate plan is finished. Here’s what you should know:
The executor of the estate
After you pass away, someone will have to put your estate plans in order to ensure your assets are distributed without issues. That role typically goes to an executor of the estate.
An executor manages much more than estate distribution, however. They may be responsible for many things, such as paying your taxes, collecting death certificates, contacting interested parties, and securing assets. All of this usually happens during probate, a period of time that could last for a year, if not more, which allows an executor to fulfill their role.
Power of attorney
Many people believe that an estate plan is like a set of instructions that are carried out after the testator passes away. While that’s not entirely wrong, there is one big role, which is often forgotten, that handles matters while the testator is still alive: a power of attorney. They are a representative that, simply put, makes financial and medical decisions on behalf of the testator if they’re incapacitated.
If you have children, then you may fear what could happen if you pass away before they’re grown. If this is the case, then you may want to consider naming a guardian in your estate plan. This ensures that someone will be there to raise your children when you can’t.
While that’s a few of the basics included in an estate plan, there are many other legal matters to consider.