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What should be included in an estate plan?

An effective estate plan provides protection for the estate planner and the estate planner's loved ones, family and friends. Because of this, estate planners should know what documents to include in their estate plan.

There are several different types of documents that should be included in an effective overall estate plan. Different estate planning tools can be tailored, however, to the unique needs of the estate planner and their estate and to match the wishes of the estate planner. A thorough estate plan can provide peace of mind to the estate planner that their wishes will be fulfilled and their estate will be distributed how they want it to be distributed. This can also provide peace of mind that the estate planner's loved ones, family members and friends will be cared for.

Estate planning tools to consider include a valid will, a trust, a durable financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney and the designation of an executor for the estate. Every estate plan should include a valid will so estate planners need to know what makes an estate plan valid where they live. There are different types of trusts for different needs and goals so estate planners should be familiar with their options. A power of attorney for financial affairs, as well as for health care concerns, serves to protect the estate planner if they become incapacitated and cannot direct their own financial affairs or health care.

Estate planning is an important reality of life that can help estate planners and their families be prepared. Knowing how to develop an estate plan that works for them, and what to include, is an important step for any estate planner to take.

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