Should I make a will? Your quick guide to estate planning.
Updated: Jan 28, 2018
Making a Last Will and Testament is just one part of an overall process called “Estate Planning”.
Estate planning involves a range of undertakings to manage an individual's asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death. Drafting a will to bequest assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes is only one part of these undertakings.
Some of the major estate planning tasks may include:
- Creating a will
- Limiting estate taxes by setting up trust accounts in the name of beneficiaries
- Establishing a guardian for living minor dependents
- Naming a personal representative of the estate to oversee the terms of the will
- Creating and updating beneficiaries on plans such as life insurance, IRAs and 401(k)s - Setting up funeral arrangements
- Establishing annual gifting to reduce the taxable estate
- Setting up durable power of attorney (POA) to direct other assets and investments
- Setting up a health care directive to provide guidance to relatives and medical providers about your last wishes about continued medical care.