Your Family Matters

Completing your estate plan with more than just a will

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Estate Planning

When you think of an estate plan, one document comes to mind. The last will and testament is often a focal point, as it is the document that allows your wishes to be known after you have passed. While the words of your will are important, an estate plan is far more than just a will.

The estate planning process can be difficult for some, as it requires you to face the fact that you will pass one day. Because we are not immortal, the next best option is to memorialize your words in an estate plan, so your health, finances, assets and property are handled and distributed according to your wishes.

Estate planning

A person’s estate plan can be as simple or as complex as they want; however, it should speak to your wishes regarding the actions taken after your death. Specifically, how your assets should be managed and distributed.

At Kerley & Talken PC, our law firm understands the goals of an estate plan differs from client to client; however, some basics need to be met with each estate plan. Our attorneys consider the unique nature of our client’s situation and wishes when ensuring their estate plan is complete and in accordance to law.

Documents to consider

Again, while a will is an important document to draft in your lifetime, it is essential to create an estate plan. Yes, a will is the foundation of your estate plan, but there are other vital documents you should consider in the estate planning process.

To begin, a power of attorney is a document that designates a person you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes. Without this document in place, a guardianship proceeding may be necessary to grant another the power to act on your behalf. A health care directive is another estate planning document that can provide important information. This provides your wishes when it comes to artificial life support and any medical interventions taken.

Finally, a trust is an estate planning document that essentially supplements a will. It does what a will cannot do alone, and based on the type of trust created, can help protect beneficiaries or a loved one with special needs.