Hesitating to establish a comprehensive estate plan can complicate matters for one’s loved ones after they pass away. So that’s why you create a will, right?
The answer may be a bit more complicated than you’d think. A will is undoubtedly essential for communicating your final wishes and designating assets to your chosen beneficiaries. However, additional information will likely become crucial should the unthinkable become a reality.
Three additions to your estate plan
Hopefully, you will be able to have uncomfortable, yet necessary, conversations with your family members as you consider the future. Still, they probably won’t be aware of everything at stake should you pass.
Create documents such as your will, healthcare proxy and powers of attorney. Then, think about additional ways to simplify your estate matters. For example:
- Fund college accounts for your grandchildren. There are ways for your contributions to grow tax-free and potentially provide tax benefits for you as well.
- Assign transfer on death (TOD) assets. You may be able to avoid the probate process with TOD designations. Allocate certificates of deposit, savings and brokerage accounts to specific beneficiaries to prevent the court from making decisions on your behalf.
- List your organizational memberships. Some veterans organizations, college alumni groups and professional accreditation clubs have no-cost accidental life insurance benefits. Knowing which charities you support can also help your heirs distribute memorial funds.
Legislative revisions may allow additional ways for you to leave a legacy, while changed relationships might inspire updates to your estate plan. Regularly revisit your documents to both ensure they adequately meet your needs and express your current desires.