An estate plan allows you to plan for your future, your assets as well as your loved ones. While many people overlook it, planning about what will happen to your assets and loved ones when you pass on is quite important. If you die intestate (without an estate plan), the government will make critical decisions on your behalf – and some may contradict your wishes.
An estate plan is a legal document that outlines how you would wish for your assets to be distributed when you pass on. While a solid estate plan comes with several components, the final will and testament is one of the most important building blocks of an estate plan.So, what are some of the key aspects that your will might address?
If you are the sole owner of any kind of real estate, it is important that you specify who this asset will go to when you pass on. This is especially important if you have a spouse and children. While drafting your will, you can also specify how your dependents will share the ownership of the home. However, if you co-own the home with your spouse, then you may not include it in your will since the rights of survivorship will automatically pass on to your spouse when you die.
Guardianship of your children and pets
If you have minor children, it is important that you specify who you would wish to receive guardianship of your little ones. The same applies to your pet. However, it is important to understand that guardianship is a huge responsibility. As such, it is advisable that you have this conversation with your desired guardian before including them in your will. Also, be sure to make this an ongoing conversation.
Having a legally-written will in place is a smart move. While a will is not the only tool you will need for your estate plan, having one is an important step if you want to have a voice on what will happen to your assets and loved ones when you pass on.