New Hampshire residents with any property, assets, or family heirlooms should consider the benefits of estate planning. An estate plan can cover how certain assets will be managed during a person’s lifetime as well as after death. There is no one type of estate plan for everyone. For some, a last will and testament will suffice; for others, a trust fund may be better. Before speaking with a professional, it is a good idea to know a little about what documents to consider as part of an estate plan.
Working individuals will likely be familiar with 401(k) accounts. For these types of assets, the employees’ beneficiary designations will override any other instructions that may be set forth in a will. Thus, it is a good idea to keep beneficiary designations together with other estate planning documents, so that people can be clear on who will be receiving which assets.
If someone wants to ensure that a specific person is entrusted with his or her care in the event of an emergency, it is a good idea to have a power of attorney. A power of attorney can designate someone to make financial and legal decisions if a person becomes incapacitated, or it can be used to give someone the authority to make healthcare or end-of-life decisions on the other person’s behalf. Parents should also be sure to name someone as a guardian for their minor children in the event both parents pass away.
When it comes to creating a trust, there are several options. Some trusts can be revised during a person’s lifetime whereas others cannot. In order for a person to make the most informed decision when creating his or her estate plan, it is a good idea to seek the help of an estate planning attorney.