Coping / Future Planning / Finalize Estate Plan and Will

Finalize Estate Plan and Will

An Estate Plan is a series of legal documents that ensures the wishes of the deceased are followed after death.

These obligations include, but are not limited to:

  • Who can speak and make decisions for the deceased in their absence

  • Who are considered Beneficiaries

  • Who should receive your Assets

Typically, these types of documents are created by people who are nearing end-of-life, but it's best that all adults, even young adults create them in order to relieve the burden of decision making on others in case something should happen.

The following documents typically which make up an Estate Plan:

Last Will and Testament or Trust

  • Designates to whom your Assets will be left (goods, property, etc)

  • Typically these are children, grandchildren, or other family members, but can also be organizations like charities

  • Designates a guardian to care for children (if applicable)

  • Appoints a person to manage the settling the Estate, known as an Executor

  • Like a Will, a Trust also designates Assets to Beneficiaries; however, there are many different types of Trusts with many different types of governing rules so speak with an Estate Attorney to identify what is best for your situation

Beneficiary Designations

  • Many Assets are transferred to Beneficiaries through a Last Will & Testament, but others can be transferred outside of a Will

  • These include, but are not limited to bank, brokerage or retirement accounts

  • This document lists all possible Transfer-On-Death accounts to more easily manage each transfer after a death

Power of Attorney

  • Names individuals who act or speak on your behalf if you're unable to do so yourself

  • This person can manage all aspects of end-of-life decisions, or be designated for specific areas such as healthcare or finances

  • They are also known as a Durable Power of Attorney

Letter of Intent

  • A non legal document left for a surviving family family and Executor that outlines, in a more personal way, what the deceased would like to happen after a death

  • Items could include wishes for Asset dissemination, Funeral arrangements or any other special requests of the surviving family

See the links below for more information about Estate Plans or services to create your own.