Estate Planning: What Steps You Need To Take To Prepare

Drafting a will and planning for your estate to be handled can be incredibly overwhelming. To ensure that you do not leave your family behind without a proper estate plan to follow, keep reading to learn what steps you need to take now to ensure everything is carried out the way that you wish once you pass.

Take a Thorough Inventory

A full inventory will ensure that your liabilities and assets are all accounted for before you pass away. Make sure to take account of life insurance policies and the like. Some assets, such as a family-owned business, will need special provisions outlined in your estate plans. In the end, by taking a thorough inventory before speaking to your attorney, you will be able to save money and time.

Determine Who Your Beneficiaries Will Be

In your will, you will need to decide who your beneficiaries will be and how you wish for your assets to be distributed. You will also need to determine how you want your beneficiaries to receive the assets. For instance, do you want them to receive the assets outright, or do you wish for them to receive their inheritance via a trust? With children, you may want to consider staggering their inheritance at milestone ages like 18, 21, 25, etc. Ultimately, your goal may be to ensure that they have money to pay for their education.

Don't forget to also update your beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and the like. This is something that is often forgotten about over the years when you get married, get divorced, etc.

Decide Who Will Manage Your Estate

The manager of your estate plan can be whoever you choose, including your attorney, a family member, or a corporate individual. Ultimately, the person you choose may depend on the assets that are being distributed. However, it is important that you choose a person to have power of attorney in the event that you become incapacitated. You should also choose an advance health care directive so there is someone to make medical decisions for you should that become necessary. Don't forget to include a document that outlines your medical wishes, if you have specific ones.

Determine the Most Appropriate Estate Plan

For most people, a will is most appropriate. However, some people may prefer a revocable trust, particularly if any property is owned in other states. Each type of plan has its benefits, and it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each one based on your individual situation.

When you are ready to move forward with your estate plan, contact an estate lawyer in your area to ensure all paperwork is drawn up properly. An estate lawyer can help you outline your wishes and make sure that your estate will be passed on as you intended.

About Me