Many people in Ohio believe that as long as they knock the will off their to-do list, the estate plan is done and ready for execution when the time comes. A will is one of the most important documents in an estate plan for sure, but by itself, it is unlikely to constitute a full estate plan. There are other documents a person may need as well.
Bankrate identifies these additional elements of a solid estate plan:
- Durable power of attorney, so that someone may serve as the financial proxy if necessary
- Advance medical directive to appoint a health care proxy and determine what medical procedures an individual consents to and refuses when they are not able to communicate this themselves
- Trusts to dictate how and when beneficiaries receive benefits over time
- Life insurance policies to replace lost income after passing, especially for breadwinners
- Designated beneficiaries on accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s and bank accounts
It becomes clear by this point that estate planning requires more than wrapping up post-life affairs. There are instances when a person may become temporarily incapacitated and cannot make decisions for themselves, while still being very much alive. These instances need to be considered and planned for as well.
Forbes adds one additional complication to the table. It points out that recent laws passed in states all across America now make it difficult for heirs to access a person’s online digital information after they pass. Special permissions may need to be granted during the estate planning process to allow this or those assets may pass with the deceased.
These are justs some of the many concerns a standard will may not account for. This is why having a well-rounded plan is so important.