What are the key elements of estate planning?

Estate planning empowers people to create a clearly defined plan that details their wishes regarding how they would like their personal estate to be managed upon their death. The role of an estate plan is to make sure that when this event occurs, those charged with managing an estate will carry out these instructions correctly when a person is no longer present to do so.

Effective estate planning will also make certain that the people a person leaves behind have adequate provisions and that any beneficiaries nominated will be awarded the right amounts of money or property, but what are the key elements of estate planning?

Read on for some simple guidelines on some of the points you’ll need to consider.

Why is estate planning important?

Many believe that establishing an estate plan simply requires drafting a last will and testament or setting up a trust. However, an estate plan must include far more than this if it is to ensure all of a person’s assets are seamlessly transferred to their heirs. While this usually occurs upon death, an estate plan will also include provisions that allow family members to control or access a person’s assets if they become unable to do so themselves.

What are wills and trusts?

Wills ensure that a person’s wishes are clearly stated, making certain that wealth and property passes on smoothly to those left behind. Trusts can also help mitigate tax, ensuring that more wealth passes on to beneficiaries. Wealth managers will be able to advise their clients on a range of legal strategies that can reduce inheritance tax bills.

How does a power of attorney work?

Nominating a power of attorney who will carry out the express wishes of a person upon their death is also vital. If no person is nominated, it will be up to the courts to appoint someone. This can delay inheritance, putting those left behind at financial risk.

Healthcare power of attorneys can also be nominated, who will specifically deal with care following a loss of capacity, making sure a person’s wishes are adhered to.

What are designated beneficiaries?

A clear list of all beneficiaries should be drawn up, outlining how much of an estate they will inherit so that all assets can be apportioned properly. Additionally, any insurance policies must also nominate a beneficiary.

What is a letter of intent?

While not a legal document, a letter of intent can provide guidance to those left behind and individuals made responsible for managing the estate of someone who is deceased or incapacitated. Such letters can explain how specific assets should be divided or dealt with, or outline funeral arrangements.

Are you looking for effective estate planning?

If you have concerns about your estate and are now seeking retirement planning specialists in Chester and Shropshire, at Hartey Wealth Management we can offer strong support. Contact us today to explore all the questions you might have about estate planning with our expert team.

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