Many people think that estate planning is only for people with large estates. In trust, planning can provide protection for everyone regardless of their estate.
At its core, estate planning is about determining who will act on your behalf and what they will do for you. While that includes distributing assets according to a will, it involves many other tools.
A well-crafted estate plan will also include a financial power of attorney designed to empower a trusted person to make financial decisions in the event of incapacity. Also included would be a healthcare power of attorney to allow someone to make medical decisions and have access to medical information. Without these two powers of attorney, your family could be limited on their ability to take care of your affairs or make medical decisions, or even to be informed that an emergency exists.
For those with young families, a nomination for guardianship of the children should be considered. Typically, a young family does not have a large amount of assets saved. Instead, their children will be the most valuable part of their life. A nomination for guardianship allows a young parent to name a temporary or permanent guardian over your children.
There are other types of estate planning documents that could be useful, depending on your family and financial circumstances and your personal goals. People who want to learn more about this subject should meet with an attorney to discuss their situation and goals.