Most North Carolina residents know that they need a last will and testament to ensure that their assets get passed onto their chosen beneficiaries. However, that’s not where estate planning should stop. Rather, there are other legal documents and possibly entities that you should have prepared before your passing.
What is a last will and testament?
The most popular document in estate planning is the last will and testament. This is a document that defines how your property will be handled upon your death. A will also addresses issues like who will get custody of your minor children and pets, what you want your funeral arrangements to be, and who you name as the executor of your will.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney or POA is another imperative legal document. It assigns a person who can act on your behalf in the event that you’re unable to do so on your own. There are various types of power of attorney documents including those regarding medical and financial decisions.
If you have a large number of assets, you may want to retitle them to a living trust. This trust is a separate entity through which you can choose to manage your assets through until your death. The benefit of a living trust is that it allows you to appoint trustees who will receive the assets upon your passing without going through the probate process.
Estate planning is something that every adult should do. Your will and other estate planning documents like the ones we went over above should be updated every five years and when you undergo a major life change. By preparing these documents, you can ensure that your beneficiaries receive what you have intended them to upon your passing.