5 Quick Tips for Estate Planning
Though it may seem a bit unnerving to have to plan life after you pass, it is also very important to so this. Let us make it a little easier for you with our 5 Quick Tips for Estate Planning.
1. WRITE A WILL
If you do not write a will before you pass, the laws that govern your country of permanent residence also determines who inherits your assets. This includes not only money and real estate property, but also non-financial assets such as prized, vintage cars, or even special family heirlooms like jewelry. Having a will is something that can seem difficult to do, but will make life much easier for you and your loved ones.
2. CONSIDER LIFE INSURANCE
There are plenty of plans and life insurance policies out there. Maybe you’re unsure of which one is the right one for you and your needs. It may even seem unnecessary to you. However, it is always better to be safe than to be sorry. One can never know what they will need to be covered in their end days. Just like you wouldn’t want to leave yourself and your loved ones without a will, you also don’t want to leave them without the extra help that life insurance offers.
3. ESTABLISH 3 CRITICAL END-OF-LIFE DOCUMENTS (delegate control)
Estate planning is not only for those who feel they are at the end of their life. Many people benefit from starting their estate planning early on in the lives. It is also helpful to your family should you be unable to make decisions for yourself during any time in your life due to a number of factors. To help your family, make sure you have these 3 documents in place:
– A durable power of attorney lets the named person manage your finances and legal matters.
– A release-of-information form gives doctors permission to share your medical records with the designated person(s).
– Advance directives. A durable power of attorney for health care places the named person in charge of making medical decisions on your behalf. A living will specifies what medical treatment you do or do not want at the end of your life.
4. WORK WITH AN ESTATE PLANNING TEAM
Estate planning is something that should be done with the guidance of knowledgeable counsel. Estate planning attorneys can help design and create trusts and/or wills. Tax attorneys can make sure that the beneficiaries get the most out of their assets they have inherited. Financial advisors can find the best options for investment for the inherited assets. If you do decide to work with a team it is essential to make sure that your team is always communicating with one another.
5. THE BOTTOM LINE
As easy as it is to focus on the here-and-now with finances, it is essential to plan for the future. When you fail to put an effective estate plan in place it can become costly to your beneficiaries and cause tension, after you pass, if some feel they were unfairly negated from your plans. Make time to plan with your wishes with you, your family, and your advisory team.
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Shauna R. Anderson is a State Bar Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law, a designation earned by fewer than 100 of the 15,000 licensed attorneys in the County. Shauna is experienced in living trusts, generational wealth planning, trust administration and asset protection. Shauna has personally helped over 3,00 families establish estate plans.