Conscientious Estate Planning For Oregonians

4 major improvements to an estate plan

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Estate Planning

Having a proper estate plan in place can be very important for testators, family and loved ones. The more a testator adds to their estate plan, the better defined their last wishes can be.

There are several additions that testators can make to improve their estate plans. Here is how: 

1. Name multiple beneficiaries 

Many people have at least one person they think would be suited best to be a beneficiary. This could be a spouse, child, sibling or parent. However, an estate plan can be improved by naming multiple beneficiaries. 

This has the advantage of ensuring someone will still benefit from an estate if the first beneficiary is deceased or unavailable. The testator can also split their assets between multiple beneficiaries. 

2. Name a power of attorney

Estate planning is a lot about asset distribution, but there are several other advantages. For starters, the testator can name a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal representative who acts on behalf of the testator should they become incapacitated and need someone to manage their financial and medical decisions. 

3. Control how assets are used

A testator typically only can control who gets their assets with a will, but not how their assets are used. An incentive trust can help with that issue. A grantor can make clauses within an incentive trust with terms that a beneficiary must meet before they can access funds. 

For example, a trust can be structured so that disbursements match a beneficiary’s income from work or designed so that the disbursements are contingent upon them pursuing a college degree.

4. Give to a charity

Another type of trust that can be included in an estate plan is a charitable trust. A charitable trust allows a grantor to donate assets to charities, private organizations, nonprofits and research programs. These assets can be distributed at regular intervals at a fraction of a trust’s value. 

If you are looking to improve your estate plan, you may need to seek legal guidance to learn more.