If you have multiple investment vehicles, your beneficiaries may find it challenging to manage them after you are gone. It is essential to ensure that you have your house in order for the sake of your beneficiaries and ensure that none of your investments slip through the cracks. This guide looks at ways you can simplify complex assets for your heirs.
1. Consulting with an estate planning firm
An estate planning firm is a firm that has estate law attorneys. These probate attorneys are experienced law professionals with a vast understanding of how federal and state laws affect your estate after you pass away.
An estate planning attorney can help you create a custom plan based on your needs. The probate attorney is the professional you need to acquire valuable legal advice to simplify your complex assets for your beneficiaries. Get the best estate planning firm to help you make the best decision as you plan.
2. Having and updating your will
A will is a legal document that helps enumerate your wishes regarding your asset distribution. Your wishes may not be carried out without a will, and your heirs may struggle to settle your affairs after you are gone.
Consult your probate attorney on how to construct a will. Also, regularly update the will to include the new assets you accumulate and any new beneficiaries you would like to include.
3. Get organized
Executors must file final tax returns and collect and distribute assets to pay creditors. It is challenging, especially if you pass away when you are not organized financially. To simplify your executor's task, prepare a detailed list including contact numbers, banking statements, pension plans, location of important documents, and investment accounts.
4. Consolidate your assets
You may find that your assets are distributed in several financial accounts when you have multiple investment vehicles. For estate planning, it is recommendable that you simplify and consolidate your finances. Consolidating your finances will save your executor from a lot of stress in the future.
5. Establishing a living trust
A living trust is a legal document you can create during your lifetime whereby you designate a person, a trustee, to be responsible for managing your assets for the benefit of an eventual beneficiary. Once you pass away, the trustee is bound by a fiduciary duty to give these assets to your heirs.
A living trust may be better than a will as it helps your beneficiaries escape the rigorous probate process and avoid courts. If you consider establishing a living trust, get a competent and trustworthy trustee.
6. Establishing a power of attorney
Another arrangement you can consider having is a power of attorney (POA). POA is a legal authorization you can designate to a person (agent) to manage assets on your behalf. You can assign a POA to someone you trust, preferably your significant other.
A POA helps you manage your financial affairs when you can't handle things independently. When you are old and unable to keep your stuff in order, an agent can help you simplify your assets for your beneficiaries.
Another similar concept you can consider having is a health care directive. It is a document allowing another person to communicate your health care choices when you can't.
Put effort into your estate planning and preparation to simplify your assets for your beneficiaries. A probate attorney is essential for this process as they will help you construct the legal documents and give sound advice on simplifying complex assets.
If you need the best advice, you can trust the Law Offices of James C. Shields. Reach out today, and you can start your estate planning right away. We assist people with all probate matters.