Did you know that over half of Americans do not have a written will? Despite most people admitting that planning for the future of their assets is important, most have not yet taken the crucial step.
If you have been putting off estate planning, what can you do to make the process easier? What are the basics that you need to know?
Why not take a few minutes to read through some estate planning basics. You might find it not as difficult as you thought.
Consider Professional Help
While it is possible to arrange your estate planning without legal representation, it most often better to work with an attorney or tax professional. This is especially true if your estate is above average in size.
The attorney will be able to assist you in preparing the necessary paperwork and provide estate planning tips. However, in addition to this their knowledge of tax law will help you to ensure that your money, and as much of it as possible, goes to the people you want it to.
Calculate Your Worth
You may think that your personal assets do not justify estate planning arrangements. However, take a few moments to consider what assets you have that carry value.
Assets generally fall into two categories: Tangible and intangible assets.
Tangible assets could include the following:
- Your homes
- Your car
- Works of art or house furniture
Intangible assets could include:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement plans
- Stocks and shares
- Business ownership
Be sure to take all of this into account when considering whether you need estate management planning.
Consider your Families Needs
After you have calculated the value of your material assets, it is time to think about the needs of your loved ones.
If you look at your family and see that some will have greater material needs than others, it would be good to document how you want your assets to be used to help them. Do not assume that other family members will be present or that a judge will use common sense to come to the decision as you.
Document everything to ensure that your assets are distributed as you would like them to be.
Confirm Your Directives
Good estate planning includes establishing legal documents that will essentially speak for you in the future.
- Medical Care Directory – this will detail how you would like to be cared for if you reach a stage where you cannot make these decisions yourself.
- Durable Power of Attorney – This document assigns a person control over your material assets in the case that you cannot administer them yourself.
- Limited Power of Attorney – This person can perform certain financial functions on your behalf but does not have the absolute power that a durable power of attorney has.
Planning who these people should be and the extent of their power is a key part of estate planning.
How to Make Advanced Plans for Estate Planning and Much More
While estate planning is never an easy or simple task, you make the process easier by taking some simple steps early on. By learning the basics and having a strong support system you can make decisions that will benefit those you love in the short and long term.
If you are interested in learning more about financial topics, then we can help. Why not check out our blog articles for more information?