What do you need to know about Estate Planning?
Estate Planning usually conjures up images of mounds of paperwork, legalese, and confusion. It doesn’t have to be, you can ease the process of estate planning, and we can offer you several tips.
Estate planning is the process of organizing and managing your assets during your lifetime and determining how they will be distributed after your death. It involves making decisions about things like who will inherit your assets, who will manage your affairs if you become incapacitated, and how your assets will be used to provide for your loved ones. After you create a Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will, there are other considerations to make for your estate plan.
Estate planning typically involves creating a number of legal documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. These documents allow you to specify your wishes and appoint individuals to carry out your instructions. Estate plans don’t always have to be dealt with upon your passing, and can be created while you’re alive.
Here are few tips to help you get started with Estate Planning:
- Spouses should inventory their property separately. This will ensure that there is no conflict between each spouse as to what property is owned by who.
- Identify what you are bequeathing as a gift to your child (property, jewelry), as opposed to loans that may have to be payed off through a payment schedule.
- Your fiduciary (the person responsible for your financial affairs) should be chosen wisely. Someone who can manage your affairs if you’re either incapacitated or have passed away.
- You’ll probably want to talk about the value of your assets: are they worth anything financially? Are they worth anything of sentimental value? We’ve previously written about how a bolt ring caused havoc within a family. Make sure that your family members aren’t going to get upset about what they’re going to get when you pass on.
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