When people think of estate planning, they commonly think of a will which is, of course, an important part of an effective estate plan, however, it is not the only tool to consider. There are a variety of estate planning tools that can be tailored to the needs of the individual estate planner and their estate so it helps to be familiar with what those are.
It is important that any estate plan provides for a path to accomplish the estate planner's wishes as to how they want the estate they have worked so hard for to pass to their beneficiaries. Having an effective estate plan can provide peace of mind that loved ones will be well cared for. The estate planning process can also be complex so trained guidance can help make it easier to navigate.
In addition to a will, trusts are another helpful component of an overall estate plan. Trusts can be set up for different purposes so it is helpful for the estate planner to know what those are so that they can match the best option with their goals. In addition, both wills and trusts must be validly executed so it is useful to know what the rules are in the state where the estate planner is developing their estate plan. Additional documents, such as a living will and power of attorney, can also help lay out the estate planner's wishes for their medical treatment and care and financial affairs if they become incapacitated and unable to make or manage those decisions themselves.
Having an effective estate plan can help minimize disputes and ensure that the estate planner's wishes are taken care of and that their loved ones are also taken care of. Understanding the tools in the estate planning toolbox is an important step for estate planners to take when developing a comprehensive estate plan that reflects their wishes.