An effective estate plan allows you to control who receives your property after your death, gives those you trust the legal authority to make decisions for you, and provides for your loved ones. However, the complexity of the process can be daunting, especially if you've never prepared a will or written a power of attorney before. To help you get started, below are a few answers to some common estate planning questions.
4 Answers to Your Estate Planning FAQs
What Should My Estate Plan Include?
At a minimum, an estate plan consists of a will or trust that describes your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after death, a durable power of attorney or written directions dictating your health care decisions, and any final instructions you may have. Depending on your circumstances, though, you might have additional powers of attorney, a life insurance policy, or other instruments.
How Often Should I Review My Estate Plan?
Outdated documents can make an estate plan confusing to those left behind, so it's important to keep your powers of attorney and will current. Any time you experience a major life change like a birth, death, marriage, or divorce, review and update all of your documents.
What if I Die Without a Will?
Each state has formulas describing how the estate of someone who dies without a will or estate will be divided, regardless of the actual relationships you built during your life. Unfortunately, this means your possessions may go to estranged family members rather than those you intend, or even to complete strangers.
Do I Need a Trust?
Depending on the complexity of your estate, your attorney may recommend establishing a trust, allowing your heirs to avoid the costs and delays associated with probate. To find out whether a trust is right for you, it's best to speak with an estate planning professional.
For over 75 years, the attorneys at Metcalf & Quinn have provided Wisconsin Rapids residents with a comprehensive array of high-quality legal advice and personalized attention. Get more legal tips on Facebook, visit their website to learn more about their reputation for excellent service, or call (715) 423-1940 for a consultation today.