Why You Need a Will and Other Estate Documents
You’ve probably heard you should have a will, but what else do you need as part of your estate plan? As the American Bar Association explains, the risk of not having a will is that your state’s laws will determine who receives your property if you pass away without a will. State Law may not reflect what you truly want. Also, unintended family strife often results if you die without a will.
Having a will in place accomplishes the following:
- Provides for the distribution of your assets. Your will tells your family and the courts what to do with your property when you die.
- Designates a guardian for your children. You might also provide a trust for those dependents.
- Designates an executor of your estate. This person might be tasked with selling your real estate, managing compliance with your will, and other important duties.
- Provides for non-family members who might not benefit per the state’s intestacy laws (like stepchildren or close family friends).
While a will is important, it is also beneficial to have other documents in your estate plan including:
- Living will or health care surrogate declaration-This document appoints someone who can make medical decisions if you cannot do so for yourself.
- Power of attorney-This document appoints an agent to make broad financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. This person is often the executor of an estate as well.
- Healthcare privacy release-This form allows a designated person to access your medical information to take care of you if necessary.
If you have questions about creating an estate plan or updating an old will and estate call us. We work with appropriate attorney’s for those Baby Boomers approaching retirement on a variety of issues, from financial planning to business valuation and more. Reach us at 720.635.3180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.