Intimidated by estate planning? You aren't the only one. In fact, many
Americans put off estate planning because the entire process makes them
nervous. If you are entering the planning phases of your estate, it is
essential that you gather these materials ahead of time:
In order to create an estate plan, you need to understand what you want.
What do you want your estate plan to do? Are you trying to provide for
your children in years to come? Are you trying to ensure that your long-time
partner is taken care of? Are you worried about your business?
2. Consider Your Assets
Accurately assessing your estate is essential. Have you considered every
piece of real estate, each investment, and even those family heirlooms
you hold dearly? Have you taken into account your life insurance policy?
What about your debts?
3. A Will
A will is the most well-known part of the estate plan. A will should definitely
be part of your
estate planning checklist. Writing a will is often easier when you have a good template, but there
are steps you must take to ensure that your document is legal.
4. A Trust
If you have assets that would otherwise be subject to probate, you may
consider establishing a trust. It is easy to make a
mistake in establishing a trust, so consulting with an estate attorney may be in your best interest.
5. Health Care Directive
Establishing power of attorney and establishing a health care directive
is essential for providing instructions in case you are unable to make
healthcare decisions for yourself.
The executor of your estate acts as a representative on your behalf. Many
people prefer to hire somebody who is not a family member to act as executor,
but there are some who opt to choose a close relative. The most important
thing is that you choose somebody you trust.
It is wise to review your estate plan at least once every four years, or
after you are married, are divorced, or experience a significant change
in family structure. Do you still have questions about planning your estate?
Contact us to better understand your needs.