There are many kinds of estate plans but a few things should be included in every one's estate planning portfolio.
The Catholic Register recently discussed what is necessary in every estate plan in "The must-haves of estate planning." The article is focused on Canada but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to include them in all U.S. plans.
- Someone needs to be appointed as the executor of your will. Even if the primary instrument to distribute your property is a trust, your plan should still include a pour-over will for which you need to appoint someone trustworthy as an executor.
- Your estate plan needs to include some basic tax planning, especially if you live in a state that has an estate tax of its own.
- If you have any dependents, then your estate plan needs to provide for their care. While you have some flexibility in your estate, you cannot simply disinherit a spouse or a minor child.
- Your estate plan should also include powers of attorney so you can appoint someone to look after your interests if you become incapacitated.
An estate planning attorney can guide you in including all the things you need to meet your individual circumstances.
Reference: Catholic Register (Nov. 6, 2016) "The must-haves of estate planning."