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Basic Estate Planning Documents You Need

August 20, 2021

Estate planning is important if you want to keep your loved ones protected even after your passing. An estate plan allows you to transfer your assets to your intended beneficiaries, ensure care for living dependents, and provide security with reduced taxes. In estate planning, a wealth manager and an estate planning attorney both contribute to its overall process. 

Preparing the necessary paperwork you need on top of making decisions for your estate plan can be quite confusing. To make the process easier and more efficient, it’s better to know about the basic estate planning documents you need:

  • Beneficiary Designation
    A beneficiary designation specifies the individual who will inherit your assets upon your passing. This is usually the person listed as a beneficiary on your life insurance policies or retirement plans. Failing to acquire this document might cause issues, as the court will get to decide the inheritor without knowing your wishes.
  • Will
    This is one of the most important components of estate planning. A will is a document that covers the distribution of your funds and properties according to your wishes. Here, you can also designate who will care for your children at the time of your death.
  • Trust
    A trust is another document that can help you with estate transfer. This indicates your chosen trustee who will handle your assets for your beneficiaries. You can have both a will and trust, depending on your needs. Typically, people get a trust for tax purposes and to avoid probate court.
  • Durable Power of Attorney (POA)
    This document gives the rights to a person or agent of your choosing to handle legal matters on your behalf if you become unable to do so. Having a power of attorney can also prevent less than ideal decisions made by the court in your absence.
  • Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD)
    An advance health care directive is a document that helps you handle medical decisions. This includes a medical power of attorney and a living will. While a medical power of attorney appoints an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf, a living will provides instructions or preferences related to your health. 

Reach Out to an Estate Planning Advisor
If you have the necessary documents you need but want to learn more about estate planning basics, reach out to a professional. Here at Lamkin Wealth Management, we aim to provide you with the help you need in managing your estate. Learn more about our estate planning services by calling us today!