The Importance Of Checking In With Your Beneficiaries, POA, Wills and Trusts
Having the proper estate planning tools and an awareness of how they work is essential to creating a plan for how you assets will be handled in the event of your passing. There are several entities that you would need to check in with depending on how you establish everything. Below we will discuss the differences between beneficiaries, powers of attorneys, wills, and trusts. We will also discuss the importance of checking in with them and how you and your loved ones benefit from planning ahead.
A will, which is the most common of these agreements, is a document that dictates how you want your property and assets to be managed and distributed after you pass away. The importance of having a will is to outline who you intend to take possession of everything that you had while you were alive. It is legally enforceable and it prevents the state from distributing your assets how they see fit. Having this document is basically guiding everyone to know how you want things to go in your passing.
A trust, unlike a will, is used while you are still alive and it allows you to put your property and assets under the care and management of a “trustee”. In doing so you are transferring your estate to another individual. There are a few types of trusts, such as revocable, and irrevocable, grantor trust and more. They all essentially focus on the transfer of ownership of your assets.
A beneficiary is an individual or entity who receives a benefit and/or has the right to collect distributions from a trust, will, or life insurance policy. It is important to outline who you want as beneficiaries to certain policies and documents to avoid confusion amongst the people who will be handling your affairs should you pass away. Designate the people who you care about the most based on your judgement. Most people designate family, while others may not be as close to their families and they select a close friend or only their spouse.
Power of Attorney:
Power of Attorney (POA) is a someone you designate to work as your agent to handle your financial obligations should you no longer be able to manage them on your own. In the most common scenarios, people elect a Power of Attorney when they have knowledge that they may become ill, have a diagnosis for a life-threatening disease, or become disabled. They manage your personal and business responsibilities and make sure your expenses are paid. They can be a trusted friend, relative or whoever you deem fit and responsible enough to act on your behalf.
All of these documents and concepts are important but they may not all be needed together. Each persons situation is different and depends on how you want your assets handled while you are alive and when you pass away. Consider talking to one of our financial advisors to start planning these processes if you don’t already have them in place.
SJK Wealth Management and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services. Please consults your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.