What Estate Planning Documents Make Up A Good Plan?

By Justin S. Eppler

Like other Alaska residents, you may be considering taking steps to care for your family in the event of your death and you in the event of your incapacitation. You may know that estate planning could accomplish these goals, but you may not be familiar with the documents that make it happen. Below is a brief description of the documents that make up a good estate plan.

A last will and testament represents the cornerstone of an estate plan. This document outlines who receives what portion of your estate. You can also include specific bequests (gifts) of certain items to certain individuals. It also appoints someone to handle the administration of your estate, including probate proceedings.

Powers of attorney for health care and financial matters appoint someone you trust to handle these matters for you if you are unable to do so yourself. You can appoint the same person for each power of attorney or different people. You can also give as much or as little power to your agent in these documents with which you feel comfortable.

Your circumstances may also benefit from a trust. In this document, you can control how and when beneficiaries receive distributions. You can transfer property into the trust during your lifetime as well.

Depending on your estate planning needs, you can create a plan that works best for you. Every family has its own unique dynamic, and fortunately, this area of law offers many options. A tailor-made plan is often possible. In order to gain a better understanding of what you need to put a plan in place that reflects your wishes and goals, you would benefit from speaking with an Alaska attorney.