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Estate planning involves more than just creating documents

Developing a viable estate plan involves more than just making a will for distributing assets. Virginia residents may be interested to know that the people they pick to carry out their plans can be just as important as the documents themselves. Picking the wrong representatives for estate planning tasks can have devastating effects.

There are several types of representatives a person can choose. For example, an executor manages the estate after the creator's death and is responsible for carrying out their last wishes as stated in the will. If a Virginia resident sets up a trust, they can set some guidelines for how they want it handled. A trustee makes the financial decisions on how the trust should be handled.

A person can also designate someone to act for them in legal, financial and health matters by giving them powers of attorney should they become incapacitated. If a person on Social Security becomes incapacitated, Social Security will appoint someone, usually a family member or friend, to manage their benefits. An estate owner can also appoint someone to make decisions for their funeral.

One representative or several can be picked for these tasks. Before making a final decision, however, the estate owner needs to make sure their choice is qualified and willing to do the job. If more than one representative is selected, they all should know about the others. Estate planning can be complicated. That's why it may be smart to hire an attorney who could provide advice on what representatives a person needs and who is best qualified to handle the tasks.

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