What comes to your mind every time you hear the word estate planning? I am sure that you picture spending long days in an attorney’s office. You might be very confused and not sure where to start. This is normal! Estate planning can be a complex legal process for those not familiar with the state and federal laws and regulations. Many things are needed to make the whole process a success. Most families need a little more than a handwritten will. You also need to ensure that you put the critical factors into consideration. If you have been wondering what you need for estate planning, worry no more. Here is a list of some of the essential things you need.

Will and Testament

If you have thoughts about estate planning, you need to ensure that you have your last will and testament. Of course, online resources have made things much simpler, but even a handwritten will is just fine. In your will, you must specify who you want to inherit your certain assets and property after you die. This includes all your physical assets, personal possessions, and investment accounts.

In your handwritten will, there also needs to be the guardian’s name, family member, or even friends that you wish to inherit your possessions after you are gone.

Revocable Living Trust

Like a will, a revocable living trust is an essential legal instrument to make your estate planning successful. It is a legal entity that owns the property you put into it while allowing you to use it and have control over the property while you are still alive. The truth is that the revocable living trust needs more maintenance than a will. However, it has a greater benefit. It allows your assets to avoid the time and expense of probate. It also shares your assets and properties quickly and privately after you are gone.

Beneficiary Designations

If you have been researching estate planning, you must know that certain assets can skip probate and instead transfer directly to a beneficiary after you are gone. If you want your assets to skip probate, you must follow a legal process. You should contact each institution where you have any asset and name a beneficiary. Also, remember not to mention the non-probate assets in your will.


Another important thing you should consider looking at is insurance policies and financial information. You must put all your insurance policy documents together. These documents include your life, car, home, and health insurance. You should also keep a list of all your financial accounts and instructions on how one can access them. This way, the people you wish to inherit your assets will not have a very rough time. Please write down this information in a handbook and store it well with your estate planning documents.


Estate planning is not always a simple process. This is especially if you do not know what the right documents are for your unique needs. Reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney in your area to talk about your options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *