One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to estate planning is that it is only for the wealthy. However, in truth, everyone can benefit from ensuring their finances, property, and other assets are properly taken care of after they pass away. In the following blog post, we will review why estate planning is so important and the common documents you should consider including in your estate plan.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Organizing your affairs in anticipation of the end of your life is a crucial task that involves more than just writing a Last Will and Testament. Rather, estate planning is an ongoing process that helps determine who can make critical decisions on your behalf, who will care for your minor children, and how to avoid unnecessary taxes and waiting periods. Basically, estate planning encompasses all decisions related to money, property, medical care, dependent care, and other issues that may arise after a person’s death.
Common Documents You Should Include In Your Estate Plan
An estate plan is about more than distributing your assets after you pass away. It should also assist your family in managing your affairs if you become temporarily or permanently disabled. Additionally, it should specify your preferences for end-of-life care if you are unable to make independent healthcare decisions. That is why if you want to have a complete estate plan in Northern Virginia, you should consider including the following estate planning documents:
A will is a vital part of every estate plan, even for those without substantial assets. Wills ensure that property is distributed according to an individual’s wishes, as long as they adhere to state laws. Moreover, these documents allow your loved ones to have a clear picture of who will receive certain property and assets without having to go to the courts to make a final decision.
A Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document that allows one individual to act on behalf of another. A power of attorney can be granted for financial decisions, medical issues, and even educational decisions for minors.
A Living Trust
A living trust is an estate planning option available in Virginia that lets you place your assets in a trust while still retaining control and use of them. After your death, the trust transfers the assets to your chosen beneficiaries. A revocable living trust (also known as an intervivos trust) is an estate planning tool that provides individuals with control and flexibility and will not need to go through probate.
An Advance Medical Directive
An advance directive is a legally binding document that specifies what actions should be taken for your health if you cannot make decisions because of illness or incapacity. Within this specific document, you will appoint a person to follow these directives.
Contact Ardent Guardian Today To Discuss Your Estate Plan
At Ardent Guardian, we offer a wide range of services in Northern Virginia, including estate planning, probate administration, and various other services. If you are interested in learning more about creating an estate plan or want to discuss the documents involved in these plans further, contact Ardent Guardian today or call us at 703-592-6774 and speak with a member of our team.