The approach that some people take to estate planning involves getting the process over with as quickly as possible. They find it unpleasant to think about what happens after they die and may rush through the process. Frequently, people may choose to draft a will and nothing else.
A will certainly plays an important role in many modern estate plans. However, comprehensive estate planning can offer more long-term benefits than simply drafting a will. Those already sitting down to draft a will may benefit from addressing other matters as well. People typically need to include the following resources in more comprehensive estate plans.
Wills and possibly trusts can help people transfer property to others after their deaths. These testamentary documents are the backbone of any estate plan. Testators often draft wills to clarify who should inherit their property and name guardians for their minor children. They may also want to use a trust. Some people use a trust instead of a will, while others may create a will and a trust. The size of someone’s estate, parties who may inherit from the estate and other personal factors influence which option is the best choice.
Powers of attorney
Testamentary documents are not the only paperwork a thorough estate plan should include. People can also talk about what might happen if they experience a major personal emergency. Powers of attorney allow people to designate someone they trust to manage their medical and financial matters if they become incapacitated. Given that people’s health may decline when they age, they may want to address permanent incapacitation. If someone creates durable powers of attorney, they can significantly reduce the likelihood that they would be subject to a guardianship later in life if their health declines.
Advance medical directives
Both Illinois and Michigan allow individuals to provide advance written instructions about their medical preferences. Advance healthcare directives describe someone’s wishes in depth. They may leave instructions about life support and anatomical gifts so that their loved ones have clarity about their true desires.
If someone intends to draft a will, it may be worthwhile to continue the estate planning process and draft other documents as well. People can plan for a future in which they might need Medicaid, provide guidance for their loved ones and protect themselves from unexpected emergencies. Creating a comprehensive estate plan can prove beneficial for a testator and the people closest to them alike.