Ensuring Full Protection For Your Family
Estate planning is a crucial step to ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your desire and that your wishes are upheld for the benefit of your family. Not having an estate plan means that your assets are distributed according to Oregon state guidelines, and this may not be the most ideal situation for your family.
When creating your estate plan, there are certain things you should be sure to include. Read on to learn what these essential components of estate planning are.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is perhaps the most well-known estate planning component and basically outlines how you wish for your assets to be distributed upon your passing and who you want those assets going to. This can also include appointing a guardian for your children and other similar ideas.
Having a will in place in your estate plan means that your assets are distributed according to your wishes rather than state guidelines. You should have control over how your assets are distributed and who they go to, so having a will in your estate plan is a must.
You should also consider having a trust as part of your estate plan. A trust acts very similarly to a will in that it names how your assets are to be distributed and who they go to, but the key difference is that a trust is placed in the hands of a named person who will control those assets (known as a trustee). The assets officially become under your trustee’s care upon a named event written in the trust.
For example, you might set up a trust for your child that names them as the trustee and name the child’s 21st birthday as the event that officially transfers ownership of certain assets to the trustee. Upon your child’s 21st birthday, they take over control of the named assets.
Part of the benefit of having a trust in place is that upon your passing, a trust avoids probate court. This provides your family the benefit of avoiding a potentially lengthy, costly, and emotionally draining process to receive your assets.
Beneficiary Designation Forms
Tangible assets are not the only assets you will want to be sure are passed down to others; you may have bank accounts and stock accounts someone should inherit upon your passing. Having beneficiary designation forms for each of these accounts enables you to pass these types of accounts down to who you wish.
Powers of Attorney
In the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions on your own behalf, naming someone and providing them with power of attorney allows them to make those important decisions for you. Typically, a power of attorney is used for financial or legal matters that need to be taken care of in your absence.
If you are in need of critical medical care yet cannot make a decision because of your current state, you may want to name someone as medical power of attorney to make those important life care decisions.
Letter of Intent
You may wish to be buried in a certain place or have your remains cremated instead of being buried. Having a letter of intent as part of your estate plan can help you ensure that your end-of-life wishes are carried through as you intend.
Note that this is not a legal document and, therefore, not the most critical component to include in your estate plan. However, such a letter can provide your family with positive reassurance that they will need during that difficult time.
Ready to Make Your Estate Plan?
No one is too old or too young to have an estate plan in place; in fact, many financial advisors are recommending that younger people have an estate plan in place as soon as they are able to do so. When you’re ready to put together a plan for the sake of your family, reach out to an attorney who understands state estate planning guidelines and can help you create a plan that meets your unique needs.
At Levine Law Center LLC, we understand how sensitive estate planning can be yet how important it is to take care of your loved ones. Our team will help you create an estate plan that serves your best interests and those of your family. Learn more about estate planning in Oregon by calling us at (503) 433-8340. You can also visit our website to learn more information.