What is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is a collection of documents designed to protect your wishes should you become incapacitated or pass away.
Do I Need an Estate Plan in South Dakota?
There are five main reasons you need an estate plan.
- An estate plan allows you to decide who gets what when you die.
- An estate plan names who will watch over your minor children when you are gone.
- An estate plan can help minimize death taxes you may owe.
- An estate plan can help avoid probate in South Dakota.
- An estate plan allows you to appoint who will make important financial and medical decisions should you become incapacitated.
What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?
There are five main documents to have in your estate plan.
- Last Will and Testament. This document states how you'd like your property to be distributed after your death. It also allows you to name guardians for your minor children.
- Revocable Living Trust. Allows for assets to transfer without going through probate court proceedings.
- Advanced Healthcare Directive. This spells out your wishes regarding medical care if you become terminally ill.
- Durable Power of Attorney. Allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf for financial decisions.
- Beneficiary Designations. For retirement accounts and life insurance these name who directly receives those assets.
- Letter of Instruction or Letter of Intent.
When Should I Update My Estate Plan?
Here are five scenarios when you should make updates to your estate plan.
- Marital changes.
- Changes to beneficiaries.
- New children or grandchildren.
- A significant change to your net worth.
- Tax law changes.
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