What's Included in an Estate Plan?

Squiggle Support Team

Last Update 4 months ago


INTRODUCTION

Estate planning is an essential legal and financial planning process that involves both the administration and settlement of your Estate after you pass away or in the event of incapacitation.


No two estate plans are the same since each person's individual and family requirements will differ. However, some critical foundational components in every estate plan are designed to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are fulfilled after passing.


This article briefly outlines those components and helps you understand the vital cornerstones of a well-structured estate plan. 




WHAT'S INCLUDED IN AN ESTATE PLAN?

As outlined above, no two estate plans will ever be the same. 


However, the following is a list of the core elements of a comprehensive estate plan:


  1. A Will: This document details all the assets to be distributed after death and designates an Executor to manage the Estate.
  2. Guardianship Designation: Where appropriate, the Will appoint a Guardian for minor children or any incapacitated adults in your care while you're still living.
  3. A Trust: This component allows you to manage your assets while alive and bypass probate after death. You can tailor the Trust to revocable or irrevocable, depending on the situation.
  4. Lasting Power of Attorney – Property and Financial Affairs: A Power of Attorney authorizes somebody you trust to handle your property and financial matters if you are incapacitated or not mentally capable of handling your affairs yourself.
  5. Lasting Power of Attorney – Health and Welfare: This special Power of Attorney empowers a chosen individual you trust to make decisions about your healthcare and personal welfare if you're unable to do so yourself.
  6. Advanced Decision (Living Will): This directive includes instructions regarding future medical treatment if you are close to death, are suffering from a terminal illness, and are not able to communicate your wishes or decisions.


Remember that a well-structured estate plan involves a careful consideration of the following elements:


  • Your assets.
  • Your family circumstances.
  • Any legal requirements in line with changing legislation, in particular, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and other relevant English laws.




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