People often think about writing a will when they start to consider estate planning. They know that they have certain assets, and they want to write out instructions for who should get those assets when they pass away.
This is a good place to begin with estate planning, but it’s a mistake to think that this is all you need to do. Estate planning actually goes far beyond assets and it can do a lot of different things that you may not yet have considered. Let’s look at a few examples below:
Making decisions for children
Perhaps you are a parent who still has children who are minors. If you’re making a plan, you might need to make choices for them, such as setting up a guardian to take care of them or putting assets in a trust so that they can have them later.
Considering medical needs
Estate planning can also use things like a medical power of attorney to specify an agent who will make your medical decisions. If you don’t want to do this, you could use another type of advance directive to list out the treatment that you want. But no matter how you want to address it, it’s clear that you need to consider future medical needs and how those decisions will be made.
Passing on values
There are also ways to pass on the values that you hold through your estate plan. One way could be to use an incentive trust. You can incentivize your heir to meet certain goals or take certain actions in order to get the money out of the trust. You could also set up a trust for education, if that’s something that you value, and specify that the money can only be used for tuition and related costs.
As you can see, estate planning can be very complex, and this is just the very beginning. Make sure that you know about all the steps you can take.