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What is included in an estate plan?

| May 24, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning helps individuals living in Hayward, California, to ensure that their assets and property are well taken care of if they die. Why? Because without proper estate planning, the properties may not be taken care of to the extent intended. Read below to learn more about the ins and outs of what is included in an estate plan.

An estate trust is the main component of an estate plan

When you write up an estate trust, you need to make sure that the trust is congruent with the way you pass on assets outside of the will. For example, you should not list your brother as a beneficiary for your life insurance policy, and place your mom as the beneficiary on your trust. If you accidentally do this, you could be subjecting both of these people to a costly and time-consuming court battle.

Draft up a beneficiary designation

It is possible that even if you do not create a trust, your heirs could receive many of your estate assets or 401k account. For this reason, it is important to maintain a beneficiary. Also, if you fail to maintain a beneficiary, the probate court can determine how your assets are allocated. In all likelihood, if a judge is left to make these decisions, they will make decisions that go against your situation or wishes.

The letter of intent is a good add-on to the beneficiary

The letter of intent is a significant addition to the beneficiary because it gives those same beneficiaries explicit instructions for how to care for your assets. You can also include instructions for your funeral plans. While letters of intent are not technically legal documents, they are useful because they show what you want to happen to your estate planning in the event that your trust is deemed invalid for whatever reason.

Do you need to write or rewrite your estate plan? You may want to do this as soon as possible because life is unpredictable. If you need help with writing your estate plan, reach out to an attorney near you.