There are many things you can include in your estate plan. It all depends on the size and complexity of your estate.
However, The New York Times explains there are four documents every estate plan should include at a minimum. So, if you are just beginning to think about creating your plan, these documents are a great place to start.
Powers of attorney
You will want to have at least one healthcare power of attorney and one financial power of attorney. These documents will help you in the event you become unable to make your own decisions. They allow you to transfer decision-making power to another person. You can combine them and give one person the power over health and financial decisions.
A living will is also useful while you are still alive but unable to communicate your desires. It will outline the medical steps you want taken, list things you want not to happen, and cover your ultimate wishes should you end up on life support. You can also use this to dictate the care and guardianship of your children and to outline other wishes you may have. Having a living will take a lot of pressure off your family.
Your will is important after your death. It states what you wish to happen with the assets in your estate. You can make it as detailed as you want. You can also list all items you own, including those with no monetary value. Essentially, you can put whatever you want in a will as long as you follow the state’s rules for ensuring its validity.
While there certainly are many other things you can put in your estate plan, these items make a good start. They cover the basics and allow you to at least get your wishes into legal documents.