Common Estate Planning Tools That Protect Your Wealth
No two estates are exactly the same, and so the approach you take with your estate planning efforts may depend on a number of factors. However, there are many elements common to nearly all estate plans. Your overall goal is to maintain control over your assets and property — and how you want them distributed to your beneficiaries.
The following are some useful tools that allow you to establish an estate plan that meets your needs and wishes:
- Durable power of attorney: Through this arrangement, you authorize another person to act on your behalf for all financial matters if you can longer do so yourself. This individual will be able to pay bills, file taxes, manage investments and oversee other financial activities in your stead.
- Advanced healthcare directive: You can outline all of the medical treatments you do or do not want to undergo if you are unable to express your wishes due to an injury or illness. Also, you can name another person to make medical decisions for you.
- Wills: These are important tools for any estate plan, as they outline how you wish to distribute your property after you pass away. If you do not have a will, your property will be distributed according to state law.
- Living trust: Also known as a revocable trust, this arrangement forms an entirely separate legal entity that owns the property you transfer into it. It is one of the ways to allow your estate to avoid probate, while ensuring your heirs receive the trust’s assets in full.
These tools can provide you with peace of mind as you complete your estate planning process. To learn more, consult a skilled Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.