Photo of Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO Jan 05, 2022

Estate planning involves setting up a plan that makes known how you want your affairs to be handled in the event of your death or if you become permanently incapacitated. It also establishes who will receive your assets, and who will care for your minor children or pets after you are gone. However, there is more to estate planning than simply writing a will and testament. It is not a simple process, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is where professional estate planning services can help.

What estate planning documents do I need to make sure my affairs are in order?

Many estate planning documents will make up the whole of your plan, and each one is important in its own way. Here are six documents that are paramount to getting your affairs in order:

1. Will — This is the most commonly known estate planning document. It expresses your last wishes for the distribution of your property and other assets.

2. Trust — Trusts are established to provide legal protection for your assets, to make sure those assets are distributed according to your wishes. All of your personal property becomes a part of your trust, and the person or party you designate as your trustee will manage your trust after you pass away.

3. Financial power of attorney (POA) — This document details who will be responsible for your finances and property in the event that you are physically unable to manage them yourself. This includes paying your bills and taxes, as well as managing your assets.

4. Medical power of attorney (MPOA) — . An MPOA states what medical actions should be taken, when needed, if you become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions. It will designate someone you trust to make those decisions for you.

5. Living will — A living will is an estate planning document that is often used alongside an MPOA. This document specifies what your medical preferences would be, in the event that you are unable to make your wishes known. This is often used for end-of-life care, such as life support, or organ donations after your death.

6. Beneficiary designations — On intangible assets such as a 401(k) and insurance accounts, most companies give you the option to name a beneficiary for that account. However, if no one is named, it will be up to a judge to determine where those funds will go. If you have not already named a beneficiary for these assets, it is important to designate someone in writing who will inherit them once you are gone.

This process may seem overwhelming, but it is a necessary one to make sure that your property and other assets are going to be taken care of according to your wishes. Luckily, you can schedule a free consultation with one of ProVise’s many CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals to help you with your estate planning documents.

Talk to a ProVise CFP® professional about your estate planning documents

At ProVise Management Group, our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals can get to know you and your current financial circumstances, goals, risk tolerance and personal values to help you develop a plan that works for you. We can also create a written plan for you at a fiduciary standard of care. All our written plans come with an unconditional money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with your written plan, you can return it to us, and we will refund 100% of the fee paid.

Are you ready to talk to a professional about planning for the future? Contact ProVise today to schedule a complimentary consultation.