5 Essential Documents for Crafting a Good Estate Plan

Financial planning can be most concisely defined as the act of evaluating your future goals and putting a plan together to ensure you achieve them. Do you want to retire early? How about travel? Maybe get that vacation home you’ve always wanted? These are all common goals for the future, but what about further down the road? Do you want to leave something behind for your family or heirs? What happens to your assets when you’re gone?

No financial plan is truly complete without an estate plan. Everything you own–your house, your car, your possessions and your money–is part of your estate, and you need to plan for what happens to your estate when you pass away. No one likes confronting their own mortality, but without a carefully constructed estate plan, transferring your assets could come with some unintended negative consequences.

That’s why it’s so important. However, it can also be somewhat confusing. From the complex legal documents, to the challenges of maximizing the legacy left to your heirs, it can be hard for many people to fully wrap their heads around what’s needed in their estate plan.

To help make some sense of it all, here are five key documents you’ll want to have when preparing your estate plan.

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