Given the unpredictability of life, one way to stay prepared is to organize your estate while you can. And estate planning allows you to set your affairs in order, specifying the fate of your hard-earned estate when you can no longer call the shots. The last thing you want is others misrepresenting your wishes during incapacity or the government determining how your estate will be distributed if you die intestate.
A workable estate plan ensures your voice prevails in every circumstance. In case you haven’t come up with one yet, there are a few things you need to know about estate planning.
Understanding an estate plan
At the very basic, estate planning is the process of arranging what will happen to your assets in the event of incapacitation or death. This involves stipulating how you wish to have your properties distributed as well as important healthcare decisions that you’ll want your loved ones to make in the event of your incapacitation. Basically, the fewer assets and beneficiaries you have, the more straightforward estate planning can be. The opposite is also true.
What does an estate plan look like?
An estate plan could contain all or some of the following:
- Living trust
- A will
- Financial and medical power of attorney
- Succession planning
A well-crafted plan helps ensure a seamless transfer of assets to your beneficiaries. Otherwise, if you pass away interstate, your property will be handed to your family not as per your wishes but according to Alabama intestacy laws. To this end, you want to set your affairs in order and avoid the frustrations that could result from unpreparedness.