Many Alabama residents tend to put off their estate planning, thinking that it’s not important for their situation. You may think that you don’t have enough assets or you’re not old enough to need one. In fact, every adult should have some type of estate plan, even if it’s just a simple one.
Write a last will and testament
Writing your will can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. If you have very few assets, you may simply use your will to pass everything to one or two people. You may also create a detailed will that lists all of your assets individually.
One of the most important things that you can do with your will is to name guardians for your minor children, if applicable. You may also designate a guardian for any pets that you have.
Check your beneficiary designations
It may seem simple, but the beneficiary designations on your bank accounts are an important part of an estate plan. The person that you listed as the beneficiary on your checking account will take ownership of the checking account after you die, regardless of what your will says. That’s why it is crucial to check and update the beneficiary designations on all of your financial accounts.
Create powers of attorney
You can use your estate plan to provide security for yourself in your old age. Powers of attorney designate the people you choose to make decisions for you if you ever become incapacitated. You may choose one person to act as both your financial and medical agents, or choose two different people for these important jobs.
Consider setting up a trust
If your estate is large and complex or you have a relatively complicated family situation, you may want to consider setting up a trust as part of your estate plan. A trust is a private financial document that distributes assets to beneficiaries outside of probate court.