To determine whether a Will can accomplish all of your estate planning goals, it is important to understand what a Will can and cannot do. A Will is an estate planning tool that becomes effective upon the death of its creator. A Will is utilized to provide for the distribution of the decedent’s assets. Other provisions can provide for the creation of trusts and directions from the decedent regarding burial or cremation requests.
Knowing now what a Will can do, we should explore where Wills fall short. They do not provide any lifetime protections. They cannot dictate who will handle your affairs in the event of incapacity or who will make medical decisions for you in the event you cannot make such decisions on your own. To obtain lifetime benefits, it would be wise to consider additional documents, including a Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Will or a Revocable Living Trust.
While it may seem like it is necessary to add documents to your plan beyond the Will, there are certain instances where a Will can be left out of your plan. For example, if an individual’s sole assets are a home, a life insurance policy, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and a bank account, he or she could accomplish the distribution of assets upon his or her death without ever drafting a Will.
If you want to find out of a Will is necessary or enough to accomplish your goals, contact an experienced estate planning attorney.