Learn about what an estate plan is and what key documents you should consider.
The topic of estate planning conjures up a lot of different thoughts and ideas.
For some, it may bring to mind the process of leaving assets to loved ones, such as bank accounts, investments, and even their commemorative coin collection. For others, it may involve creating a plan for their healthcare and appointing someone to make decisions for them in case they become incapacitated. However you think of estate planning, it’s an important piece to include in your overall financial plan.
An estate plan is a comprehensive process that covers a wide range of legal and financial considerations and documents your wishes. It’s intended to help loved ones or next of kin navigate the difficult time after your death without extra confusion, conflict, or cost. Developing an estate plan is important for everyone, regardless of your personal situation.
Keep in mind the information contained in this learning guide is for educational purposes and not intended to be legal advice.
Why Do You Need an Estate Plan?
When you create an estate plan, the documents you create and beneficiaries you choose can help you stay in control, protect your assets, and execute your goals or wishes. See the examples below to understand the importance of estate plans.
SGT Jones has a TSP, signed up for the full SGLI amount of $500,000, and has a nice truck. He never thought about it, but all totaled, this comes to over $600,000! With an estate plan, he can choose who will receive these assets.
An estate plan will ensure that MAJ Pappas and his new spouse can leave their assets to their respective children without fear of leaving them out.
LT Lopez and his spouse Lisa just had a child. By having an estate plan, they can decide who will act as the child’s guardian in the event they both pass away.