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What Basics Should My Estate Plan Cover?

Rapa Law Office, P.C. Aug. 17, 2021

Creating an estate plan for the first time can seem like a daunting task. There are so many things you can put into it that you may not know where to start.

NerdWallet explains there are a few basics you should consider when creating an estate plan. However, what you put in your plan is completely up to you.

Planning for Serious Illness or Injury

An estate plan is not just for when you die. You should also include items that will provide guidance should you end up unable to make decisions for yourself. This may include a living will or a health care proxy.

You also may want to create a power of attorney. You can do this for different things. You may create one to give someone else the ability to make medical decisions for you, or you could have one for financial decisions.

Assigning Assets

You also want to use your estate plan to assign assets or duties. If you have minor children, you should create instructions on their care should something happen to you. Make sure to name guardians who will be willing to take care of your children.

A will is essential to outline how you wish property distribution to occur after your death. You can also create trusts if you wish to have more control over asset distribution.

Also, you should include all accounts you have with beneficiaries. Make sure to check the beneficiaries often. It is a good idea to also ensure insurance accounts are in order and provide an adequate amount of coverage.

There are really no rules on what must be within an estate plan, so keep that in mind, and choose the elements that make sense for you and your life.