For thorough execution, you should formulate an estate plan beforehand. Adequate planning means that assets will pass directly to the nominated heirs with absolutely no hassle and bare minimum costs. 

If you are clueless as to what makes an accurate estate plan, you are at the right spot. In this article, we are going to talk about seven essential elements that you must take into account when looking to formulate a sound estate plan.


Have a will that is current and properly executed

For those who pass away without a will, the laws of the deceased’s residential state will make decisions about matters related to asset distribution.  Therefore, it is crucial to define a proper will to avoid this.


Title the assets properly

When it comes to giving titles to property in addition to other financial assets, you get various alternatives.  

These include individual as well as joint registration, mutual tenants, or limited liability corporations (LLCs). Other than this, you can also register a property in the name of a trust.  Make sure the titles of your assets align with your wishes regarding estate distribution.


Avoid probate

We would not term the probate process as something burdensome, but it is indeed costly. Proper titling of assets coupled with the use of trusts is all tools that can be used to minimize or avoid probate in its entirety.


Complete health care powers of attorney

These are important documents that handover the decision-making power to another individual when one is unable to make decisions.


Make sure to review and update beneficiary designations from time to time

People tend to neglect their designated beneficiaries once policies regarding retirement accounts and life insurance are established.  However, it is crucial to keep confirming periodically that the beneficiary designations are in coordination with asset disposition mentioned in estate documents.


A proactive and simplified approach 

Make sure to consolidate your brokerage, bank as well as other investment accounts to simplify your finances.  Your family won’t have to bear administrative burdens if you have already taken things in an organized fashion. Not only this, but they will not have to pay any advisor or attorney’s fee; all thanks would be to your proactive approach.


Review and keep on updating your estate plan

When it comes to estate planning decisions and related strategies, you need to critically reassess them periodically. There could be two reasons for this. Firstly, the estate laws of the state you reside in might undergo changes. Secondly, a massive change in the family unit may also call for a necessary change of things.  

Many aspects, such as demises, births, and marriages, can cause a shift in family dynamics. This means making changes to wills and powers of attorney. 

If you make it a point to review these on a periodic basis, the resulting estate plan will definitely be one that will reflect your needs and wishes and prove to be an effective one.








Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.