Tips for Your Estate Plan

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People often do not want to think about creating an estate plan, but it is important for most adults to do so. Below are several important points to consider about an estate plan.

What You Need

At minimum, you probably need a will, a power of attorney and paperwork that can appoint someone who is able to make medical decisions in case you become incapacitated. A will specifies who will get your assets. This may include sentimental items. If you are a parent, you can use the will to appoint a guardian for your minor children. A durable power of attorney appoints someone to manage your finances if you are incapacitated. You might need a trust or other vehicles as well. An estate planning lawyer Hernando County FL may help you decide what other documents might be needed.

Who You Need

A will names an executor, and this is the person who pays creditors and taxes, locates assets, distributes them to beneficiaries and takes care of any other paperwork and similar tasks. This person and the person appointed to have financial power of attorney may or may not be the same person, but they will both need to be trustworthy and organized. The person who makes medical decisions needs to be calm and compassionate. If there is a trust, you will need one or more trustees.

Common Errors

Beneficiary designations, which are used for insurance policies and some other assets, are sometimes forgotten as part of the overall estate plan. However, they override a will or a trust, so they need to be consistent with the plan. Estate plans should be reviewed regularly in case other changes are needed as a result of changes in the family, assets or tax law.

An attorney, such as the Law Office of James R. Jones, Jr., PA, may be able to help you create an estate plan and avoid common errors. You might also want to work with family members on the plan.

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