Beyond Just A Will: Important Estate Planning Documents
When most people think of estate planning, they focus on a will. Wills are certainly an important component for many estate plans. Yet they aren’t the only options. An effective estate plan is made up of multiple documents, each geared toward a distinct set of goals.
Establishing Your Legacy
One of the primary purposes of estate planning is to establish your legacy. You have spent a lifetime building up your assets, and you want to make sure your property is distributed according to your wishes and values.
There are many estate planning tools for accomplishing this goal, including:
- Joint ownership arrangements or other ways of retitling assets
- Beneficiary and payable-on-death designations
- Transfers of property during your lifetime
Planning For Incapacity
Another important aspect of estate planning is preparing for the possibility of incapacity. If you become unable to make decisions on your own, who do you want to act on your behalf? How can you ensure that your voice is still heard?
Key estate planning documents for outlining these wishes include:
- Health care proxy
- Power of attorney
- HIPAA authorization
- Living will
Depending on your situation, you may have additional priorities for your estate plan:
- Perhaps you have a child with special needs who will require your support into adulthood.
- Maybe you have a large estate and will need to plan carefully to reduce estate taxes.
- Perhaps you want to avoid the stress and expense of probate and reduce the risk of estate disputes.
- Or maybe you have a blended family and want to make sure your property goes to only some of your family members, but not others.
Many of these goals can be accomplished through carefully tailored trusts.
Get The Right Tools In Place For Your Goals
At Voelkl Law PC in Williamsville, New York, we take a personalized approach to estate planning. Our attorneys can help you use the right documents to accomplish your goals. To arrange an initial consultation with one of our lawyers, please call 716-276-0803.