Having an estate plan is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and those you love. An estate plan helps your loved ones avoid the probate process, receive assets as an inheritance more easily and prepare them for making decisions the way that you’d like them to be made.
In your estate plan, you should have a few basic documents. These build a stronger estate plan so that you are as protected as possible.
3 important documents to include in your estate plan
While there are definitely more than three documents to include in your estate plan, three of the first documents you should include are your revocable trust, will and powers of attorney.
- Revocable trusts: Revocable trusts help hold your assets and make it easier to transfer them out of your estate when you die. The trust may also help you plan for incapacity in the future.
- Last will and testament: Your last will and testament is the standard document that most estate plans have in place. Use it to clarify who you’ll name as an executor. This person helps distribute your assets. Your will may also cover who you’re assigning as a guardian of minor children or pets. Think of this as a document to express your wishes and give instructions.
- Powers of attorney: You should also set up your powers of attorney. A health care power of attorney can make medical decisions if you are incapacitated. A durable power of attorney handles your legal and financial matters during incapacitation. Both are important to your estate plan.
These are three documents to include in your estate plan. They offer protection that you should have in place as you age.