If you’re like most people in Nevada or elsewhere across the country, you probably don’t typically sit around talking about your own mortality. In fact, you might consider yourself the type of person who would rather avoid the topic. The fact is, however, that every person’s life will eventually come to an end. When you execute an estate plan, it’s a way of acknowledging that fact.
One of the greatest benefits of an estate plan is that you can customize your particular portfolio to meet your needs and goals. Whether you have a simple and basic plan consisting only of a last will and testament or a more complex plan, you may wind up assigning several people to play key roles in the administration of your estate.
The biggest job belongs to the executor
When naming someone to be the executor of your estate, you’ll want to make sure to think it through thoroughly. It should be a person you trust. He or she must file your will, as well as identify all of your assets and distribute them according to your pre-written instructions.
You’ll also want to make sure that the person you choose clearly understands his or her expectations when you die. For instance, regarding distribution of assets, the executor must know that certain assets, such as retirement benefits, go to the beneficiary listed on your account, as opposed to what is or isn’t in your will.
Will you assign powers of attorney?
Two primary concerns that many estate owners have are finances and health care decisions. Something might happen that renders you incapacitated, meaning unable to speak or act on your own behalf. Perhaps you might contract dementia or suffer an injury in an accident.
You might want to write out specific instructions regarding end-of-life health care decisions and assign a power of attorney who can act on your behalf if you’re no longer able to do so. While this would be a medical power of attorney, you can file a similar document to create a financial power of attorney as well.
Changes, updates or deletions
Another benefit of the estate planning process is that you can make changes to any document, as long as you’re of sound mind at the time. For instance, a birth, marriage, adoption or remarriage might take place, which could prompt a need to update your will.
It’s best to review your whole plan from time to time so that it stays updated. You might divorce your spouse and want to remove his or her name as a beneficiary. You might decide to add documents if you set up a trust or devise a business succession plan. Whether your plan is simple or complex, it’s best to make sure you understand all the roles that one can fulfill, and then make informed decisions regarding which documents you need to complete your plan.