Having a will can help you rest easier, knowing that your assets will go to loved ones and charities per your wishes upon your death. It can also help avoid the expense of probate. However, a will can only take care of some aspects of your wishes. We often help clients create an estate plan that covers all areas of an estate.

According to Fidelity, a will addresses property distribution and, in some cases, instructions for the care of your minor children. An estate plan goes beyond legacy arrangements and asset distribution.

Estate planning for beneficiaries

Developing an estate plan is a personal choice. However, if you are unsure whether your heirs can benefit from one, there are several factors worth considering.

If you have minor children, naming a guardian is a critical first step for you to continue providing for them if you pass away before they reach the age majority. That is only one step out of many you can take to protect and care for your kids after your death. You can create a trust that manages assets, setting aside money that pays for their care, and also contributes to their education.

Take a look at the type of accounts that hold your retirement investments. Different accounts have different beneficiary options. Some you can stretch, such as IRAs and Roth IRAs, so that they last your chosen heir’s lifetime. This benefit could be substantial if the beneficiary is a grandchild or other person who is much younger than you.

Minimizing probate concerns

Minimizing probate can save your family significant cost and reduce public scrutiny, as anyone can access probate court information. Trusts for philanthropic endeavors and special circumstances are among the estate planning tools that can help determine how you want assets protected and handled after your death.