Everyone in Georgia can benefit from planning for the future. That means creating an estate plan to secure assets to go to your loved ones when you’re gone and ensuring that someone can handle important matters if you’re unable to tend to them. These are crucial documents to include in your estate plan.
Last will and testament
A last will and testament is a basic component of estate planning. It allows you to name an executor to handle your estate and the terms of the will and guardians for your minor children and pets. You can also state your wishes for leaving specific assets to certain beneficiaries or charities and your final arrangements.
Advanced healthcare directive
An advanced healthcare directive lets you name an agent to ensure that your wishes for medical care are upheld. It’s often accompanied by another document such as a do not resuscitate order if you prefer not to receive lifesaving measures if you are terminally ill. It also allows your agent to make medical decisions for you through your medical power of attorney document.
Revocable living trust
With a revocable living trust, you can hold property and assets you wish to leave to beneficiaries. You manage the trust throughout your lifetime and name a trustee who manages it after you have passed away. You can also transfer assets you want to protect from probate; however, this type of trust doesn’t let you bypass estate taxes.
Beneficiary designations help to ensure that the assets from your financial accounts go to the people of your choosing. These documents should be updated whenever you experience a major life change such as divorce, remarriage or a new child. You should name a first choice and contingent beneficiary in case the former passes before you.
There are many other documents you might want to add to your estate plan. These are some of the basics to get started.