Planning for the future is imperative in ensuring your intended heirs receive the inheritance you wished for them. Creating your will is undoubtedly an essential document to secure the financial future of your loved ones however it can often over-shadow equally important documents that can render your will ineffectual if not completed.
In addition to your will, key documents such as power of attorney or advanced medical directive need to be completed and filed alongside your estate plan. Such documents nominate individuals to make key decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. If these forms are not completed, there may be a lengthy and expensive process to enable the courts to select someone for you. This could be someone you wouldn't have personally chosen and they may not have your best interests at heart.
These documents might not seem important if you are in good health, but delaying their completion can cause a great deal of inconvenience if you were to fall ill suddenly or be involved in an accident. Create peace of mind by completing them early on before it's too late to have the documents executed.
Although we highlight the importance of a will, it fails to take into account certain assets that lie outside of its realms and the probate process. This includes but is not limited to: life insurance, retirement accounts, annuities and many more. Often, beneficiary designation forms for these items declare that the assets will be placed elsewhere unless you declare otherwise so it is important you review them and make sure you and your family are aware of where they will be passed on to. It is not enough to have it stated in your will where you would like these assets to be inherited as beneficiary designation forms can often state otherwise and would mostly be sided within an IRS ruling.