The overall aim of estate planning is to provide future protection for you and your loved ones.
As many aspects of an estate plan will not come into play until you are either seriously unwell or dead, you must name people to fulfill specific roles on your behalf. Here are some of them:
- The estate executor
They take charge of distributing your estate in the way you set out. Yet they need to fulfill other requirements before that can happen, such as dealing with creditors seeking payment for outstanding debts.
- A guardian for your children
If you die, the children’s other parent will typically look after them. Yet if that parent also dies, you need a third party to step in and act as a guardian for your child. They will need to do so until the kids turn 18, so it is a major responsibility. Make sure you consult them first.
- A power of attorney
You may use one person for everything, or you could split roles. You need a health care power of attorney. They do not make medical decisions but give permission to doctors as to what they can and cannot do.
You also need someone with legal authority to handle your affairs. Typically, this will be your partner, yet you will need to name someone else if you are single. You can choose what powers to give them, but having someone who can pay bills or sign documents for you avoids unnecessary delays.
Understanding more about what each role requires can help you select the correct person or people. Once you have done that, you need to legalize it and include it in your estate plan.