Every estate plan should include three essential documents: a durable general power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney and a last will and testament. Of the three essential estate planning documents, the will is the only document that is used after death.
A will is a legal document that spells out the distribution of your assets and how your children will be cared for at your death. Probate is a process used to prove a decedent’s will is valid and to supervise the handling of their estate.
Beneficiaries, in general, are people or entities that the holder of an account designates to receive the assets in the account, typically, in the event of the account holder’s death.
Although there is considerable legal information and misinformation, it is generally understood that a last will and testament is the device used to distribute property after death. However, the why, how and when are less familiar.