Estate planning is not only for the wealthy. It expresses your wishes to your loved ones so that they know how to handle your affairs after your death. Creating an estate plan is at least as necessary for your family’s sake as for your own.
The process can be intimidating, especially at first. However, if you identify what your estate plan needs to accomplish, it can make planning easier.
1. Identify loved ones in need of protection
An estate plan does not only provide for the disposition of your property. It also determines what happens to loved ones who need care after you are gone. If you have minor children, your estate plan should name a guardian for them. You should also consider whether any of your loved ones have special needs, as your estate plan should reflect that.
If you have pets, they also need care in the event of your death. Pets are your property in the eyes of the law, so you cannot create guardianships for them. However, your will can stipulate who should be responsible for their care in your will.
2. List your assets
Estate planning often begins with identifying all the property you own, including bank accounts, business ownership and personal items. Having identified all your assets, you can decide how to dispose of them through your estate plan.
3. Determine whether probate is a factor
Probate can be a frustrating and costly process for your loved ones. However, if your assets are modest, it may be possible to expedite the process. If this is not an option, you may be able to reduce your probate property through estate planning.
Whatever your estate planning goals, you have a finite time in which to accomplish them. Now is the time to do it – don’t wait. Call me for a free 15-minute consultation.