what is an estate plan

Estate planning involves preparing for the management and distribution of one’s assets in the event of incapacity or death. This process includes distributing a person’s assets to their loved ones, arranging burial and funeral proceedings, and settling estate taxes. However, while creating an estate plan can help preserve a family’s wealth, provide for a spouse and children, and give a person the peace of mind that their last wishes will be fulfilled, many people fail to create these plans because they do not actually know what an estate plan is. That is why in the below article, we will review the basics of an estate plan and how these plans can help you.

How Does an Estate Plan Work?

The purpose of an estate plan is to help individuals manage their assets. However, how these plans will help will depend on the specific tools used. For example, estate plans can include:

  • A Last Will and Testament: This written document specifies how a person would like their assets to be distributed among their loved ones after they pass away. Individuals can also use a Will to name guardians for their minor children and appoint estate executors.
  • A Trust: A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party, also known as the trustee, to hold assets on behalf of another person or beneficiary according to the instructions set by the trust creator.
  • A Power of Attorney: This written document allows a person to act on behalf of another. The individual giving the power of attorney is known as the “principal,” and the individual authorized to act on their behalf is the “agent.”
  • An Advance Directive: This document is prepared to let other individuals know the types of medical treatments and care a person wants and does not want in the event they are unable to express their own wishes.

While these are some of the more common documents that individuals include in an estate plan, there are numerous other ways that an estate plan can be used to protect assets and help loved ones prepare for the future. However, to better understand what these estate plans can do for you, consider reaching out to an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorney to review your options.

Do You Hire an Attorney To Create an Estate Plan?

As online estate planning tools become increasingly popular, you might be wondering about the advantages of hiring an attorney instead. However, people quickly realize that while online tools may be more accessible, working with a skilled attorney can give you access to their in-depth knowledge of the laws and the specific documents required for your estate. This can bring peace of mind that you have organized everything in the best legal way possible for your family members and loved ones.

Contact Ardent Guardian Today for More Information About Estate Planning

If you want further information about estate planning in Northern Virginia, do not wait any longer to get the legal guidance you need. Contact Ardent Guardian today or call us at 703.592.6774 to speak with a member of our legal team.

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