Estate planning can be a challenging topic to think about for many families and in my experience as a financial planner, it is one of the most overlooked areas of client’s financial plans.
It is often difficult to discuss end-of-life scenarios and estate planning is often thought of as only necessary for the ultra-wealthy. In reality, everyone should have estate planning documents on file and review them every few years or as their situation changes. While estate planning can be a complicated, there are four key documents I recommend everyone maintaining as a part of their overall financial plan.
The first document everyone should have drafted is a will. A will is a legal document that provides control of the distribution of property at death. A will can be amended or revoked at any time as long as the will maker has legal capacity. If an individual passes without a valid will, the state will determine the distribution of assets that are not titled in a way that can be passed directly to another person.