For many people, creating a simple will is enough to manage their affairs. However, there are just as many people in Michigan who need a little more than a will to handle their finances, assets and future wishes. If you are unsure which group you belong to, it is a good idea to do a bit of research before you start estate planning.
Forbes explains that estate plans can include many different types of documents that help ensure the clarity of your final wishes. In some cases, a will just is not enough to communicate what you want to happen. In some instances, you may not trust that anyone else can carry things out exactly as you want, so you need a legal document to do so.
The extra options
If you have certain assets of which you are very particular of their handling after your death, then a trust may be a good addition to your estate plan. A trust allows you to control many aspects of distribution. For example, if you have a child who you feel will not be responsible enough to manage an asset until he or she reaches a certain age, then you can put that asset in a trust with stipulations that the child does not receive it until reaching said age. Trusts also work well to control spending from your estate or to ensure assets stay in the family.
A power of attorney is another thing to add to your estate. This gives someone else the power to serve as your legal representative if you are unable to do so yourself while you are still alive. This can come in very handy if you are in an accident or become ill and cannot communicate your own wishes.
In addition to making sure you have all the proper documents, you want to check over beneficiaries and executors to be sure those choices still work well. You should review your will often and update it as needed based on life changes. Finally, do not forget about tax liabilities. Make sure you account for them in your estate plan.
A will is a good start to an estate plan, but it may not be the only part of your plan. Make sure you review your finances and assets often to ensure your estate plan has all the elements it needs.