Estate planning is important for all Birmingham, Alabama, residents. Many people believe that all they need is an up-to-date will. Unfortunately, this might not be enough to protect you and your property while helping your family cope with your death.

Making a last will is one of the most critical steps in estate planning, but there are other documents you should also consider. A well-rounded estate plan ensures that your property is distributed according to your desires and that your heirs have an easier time with probate. The following section lists other important estate planning documents.

  • Powers of attorney: Not all estate planning documents address issues that arise after death. If you become incapacitated by an illness or injury, powers of attorney allow you to designate other parties to act on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself. Ask your attorney about financial and healthcare powers of attorney.
  • Guardianship issues: If you have young children or adult children with disabilities, it is critical to address guardianship. If you die unexpectedly or become incapacitated, addressing these issues ensures that those who depend on you remain protected and well-cared for.
  • Account beneficiaries: You have probably already named beneficiaries for your retirement or investment accounts and your insurance policies. However, it also wise to make certain that your estate planning documents reinforce these designations.

Good estate planning is not a one-time event. You should also update your plan regularly to reflect any changes in your circumstances. Forging a relationship with an experienced estate planning lawyer can ensure that your initial efforts and your ongoing efforts proceed as smoothly as possible. In the end, you will gain peace of mind from knowing that your legacy and your loved ones are protected.