The Most Important Factors to Consider in Estate Planning

When it comes to planning for the future, estate planning is not one that many people like to think about. This is only natural. Many people are hesitant to think about what will happen after they die. On the other hand, it is also important to make sure there is a plan in place. This will ensure that loved ones and financial goals are met once that fateful day comes. When it comes to estate planning, there are a few important factors to consider.

First, it is important to think about a will. According to, “Any property held solely in the name of an individual who has not named a beneficiary, such as with life insurance, needs to have a will to pass those assets to the persons or entities of their choice.” The job of a will is to outline any wishes that might be in place for assets that an individual owns at the time of his or her passing. In a will, someone can make people who should receive these specific assets. The assets will immediately go to the closest family member if there isn’t a will. A will can cover any electronic assets as well. A will is a must in the world of estate planning.

Next, it is also essential for someone to have something called a healthcare power of attorney, or HPOA. This is a signed legal document in which an individual can name someone to make healthcare decisions in their stead. For example, if someone is in the hospital and unconscious, who can make healthcare decisions for them? In addition, it is also important to have a living will. This is also called an advanced medical directive. This outlines someone’s wishes regarding how they would like to receive medical care if they cannot make decisions. These documents can frequently be drawn up simultaneously as a will.

In addition, there is something called the financial power of attorney that many people overlook. Similar to the HPOA, an FPOA outlines who an individual would like to make financial decisions if they cannot do so. If there isn’t an FPOA in place, nobody can handle bills, financial decisions, investments, or any other monetary matters. If this is the case, the decisions will be left up to the courts. Do not let this happen. Be sure to have a financial power of attorney in place.

Aside from anticipating financial matters, probate issues may also arise. Probate is a critical consideration in estate planning. You don’t want your family to reach up to this point. Hence, consulting a probate litigation lawyer is important to help prevent probate problems. 

Probate pertains to the judicial mechanism wherein a deceased person has no will or has a will or trust but failed to finance all assets. In such situations, the assets are subject to probate. Otherwise, the state law or court dictates the asset distribution.  

While most last wills or testaments have clear instructions and the process proceeds properly, disputes sometimes lead to probate litigation. This is true, especially if relatives or other people want to contest the will in court.

Litigation is tedious and lengthy, subject to specific deadlines, rules, and compliance guidelines. Moreover, probate litigation may also cause family conflicts and financial problems because of holding assets until the case lands a resolution or the court decides. 

When problems arise from estate plans, the beneficiaries must consult a probate lawyer, such as one from Chand & Co litigation firm or any probate litigation firm. A probate litigation lawyer protects the will or trust’s heirs and beneficiaries. They ensure they receive the assets or inheritances they’re entitled to.

Lastly, anyone who is thinking about estate planning also needs to think about establishing a trust. This is a legal entity that can own someone’s assets and can be controlled based on the wishes that are outlined in a legal document. A trust can dictate how someone’s children should benefit from the assets in the trust once they reach a certain age. A trust can also dictate how the beneficiaries can use the assets. Like attorney Marc. J Blumenthal says, “Sound estate planning allows an individual to prevent unintended consequences when it comes to the distribution of assets and minimizing the effects of estate taxation.”