The first part of the estate planning process that most people would mention is a last will and testament. A will is the most fundamental part of a good estate plan, but it is certainly not the only part. People will all levels of wealth and various assets should be ready to put their relatives and partners at ease with a proper plan.
What are the parts of a solid estate plan?
A will or trust to assign ownership of assets and properties is the most visible part of the plan. Will writers will also want to assign the durable power of attorney to a trusted agent of relative to act for their interests if they are not able to make decisions in the future. Beneficiaries for sharable assets during a lifetime may also make wills simpler and easier to execute. These people can be assigned with letters of intent.
What happens if these parts are not done or legally executed?
The probate court handling the case is allowed to use its own discretion to decide the fate of a person's assets if that person's own directions are absent, unclear or impossible to fulfill. This is why it is vital to leave clear instructions in the proper legal forms.
Who can help plan an estate and fulfill these needs?
An attorney is able to counsel those planning an estate, prepare required documents and represent a person's interests throughout the process. A lawyer may also help with trusts, joint accounts and other financial instruments designed to continue a person's good will to descendants, charities and other beneficiaries.