To begin with, a common misconception most people have is that estate planning is for those who are older or possess substantial wealth. Many people also assume that the process will be complex, time-intensive, and pricey. But some — if not all — of the problems mentioned aren’t true the majority of the time.
Here are a few steps you can take to begin thinking about your estate plan:
Gather important documents, and make sure that key family members know where they are.
Gather a list of all the things you own, noting any liabilities (like your mortgage) as well. Record the value of each asset (properties, collectibles, jewelry, etc.). Print copies of the most recent statements from your relevant accounts. Note the values and benefits of insurance policies.
Consider and write down your objectives for your estate plan. Who should get which assets? Who should get them if something should happen to your beneficiaries? Do you have minors who need care if something were to happen right now? Who should handle your assets if you become unable to make decisions about them? And so forth.
Review your will, if you have one in place.
Review and update the beneficiaries of your retirement accounts or insurance policies.
Review and update powers of attorney for matters of health care or other affairs.
Consider if you want to establish a Trust and prepare to talk to an attorney and experienced financial adviser about it.
By using a will or trust to legally ensure that you will not only protect the things you worked hard to achieve, you will have the final say about those assets — taking care of the people you love when you’re no longer here. That means not leaving such decisions to attorneys, the government, or the IRS.
We would be happy to aid you in the solidification of your estate plan. Contact us today: