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Do you need more than a will?

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2024 | Estate Planning |

If you’re getting started with your estate plan, you’re probably thinking about writing a will. It’s the first step that many people take. You can use your will to specify who should get your assets. For instance, you could leave your home to your children, leave your bank accounts to your grandchildren and distribute family heirlooms to the beneficiaries you think would appreciate them the most.

This is a great place to start, and it’s good to have a will if you don’t have any sort of estate plan yet. Dying intestate – without an estate plan – can cause estate disputes and increase the odds that your assets aren’t distributed the way that you wished. But is a will all that you need?

Additional legal tools

To make a comprehensive estate plan, you likely want to carefully consider your situation and all of the different legal tools you can use. A will may not do enough. 

For example, you may want to make healthcare decisions. You could do this with a living will or with a medical power of attorney.

Or you may want to give someone the ability to access your financial accounts or make legal decisions. You can use a legal power of attorney in order to do this.

On top of that, you may want to control how beneficiaries use the assets you’re leaving them. Instead of just putting those assets in a will, you may put them in a trust so that you can specify how they should be used – and pick a trustee to ensure that it happens.

Creating an estate plan

As you can see, a will may be the first step, but it is not the last. Carefully take the time to look into all of the legal options you have when making your plan.