Although most people are familiar with estate planning, few understand all of the elements that an estate plan should include. You probably have a will and may have established a trust for some of your assets, but there are other forms you should consider.
There are three important estate planning components you may overlook.
When you have minor children, your estate plan should include a guardianship appointment. Guardianship is not necessary unless both parents pass away, but it is important to establish as a safety net. Without guardianship records, your children may go to foster care until the state can identify any relatives.
Letter of intent
A letter of intent is not a legal document but it is an important part of any estate plan. Your letter of intent is a document that contains a personal message to the executor you chose for your estate. This can include the details of your wishes for the estate, your hopes for them as they serve this role and any supplemental information you want to provide. This document gives you the chance to say anything that is not included elsewhere.
A healthcare directive, also known as a living will, eliminates any guesswork, questions or conflicts between your loved ones when it comes to medical decisions on your behalf. The healthcare directive details your medical care wishes for those times when you cannot speak for yourself.
Consider these documents as you create or review your estate plan. The more comprehensive your plan, the easier it is to ensure that your loved ones carry out your wishes.