08 Aug What Are the Most Important Estate Planning Documents I Should Have?
Having an estate plan — regardless of your age or assets—is an important way to ensure your family members are taken care of according to your wishes. Your plan starts with making sure you at least make a will if you have minor children. A will can be used to establish guardianship for them in the event you and your spouse pass before they become adults.
In addition, you may also want to establish more extensive estate planning documents if you have bank accounts, retirement accounts, or other assets like a house that you would like to protect and pass on to family members. Specifically, establishing a revocable living trust, often with the help of an attorney who specializes in estate planning, can help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
With a revocable living trust, you place your assets in the trust during your lifetime and retain the power to change the trust at any time. This legal document can help your family members avoid the probate court process, which is used to determine how to distribute your property if you do not have a trust. The probate court process can be expensive and time consuming, so establishing a revocable living trust can help your family members more easily inherit your assets.
You may also consider designating a durable power of attorney, which would allow the person you name to act on your behalf in the event you become mentally or physically unable to manage your affairs while alive. You can designate different powers of attorney for different purposes. For example, a health care power of attorney will designate someone to make medical care decisions on your behalf, and a financial power of attorney will name someone to handle your financial affairs.
Getting your affairs in order with these types of estate planning documents is critical to ensuring you will have someone acting on your behalf if need be, as well as helping your family members more easily inherit any assets you want to pass on.
Schedule a complimentary, 15-minute call with a fee-only financial advisor today to discuss your personal situation.
Parkshore Wealth Management is a family-owned, independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor serving the greater Sacramento area with an office in Roseville, CA. We partner with financially responsible individuals and families who are eager to take positive steps that will allow them to use their money to build the life they desire. The firm is led by Harold Anderson, CFP®, and Daniel Andersen, CFP®, both members of NAPFA, the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors.