No matter how much or how little property you own, it’s important to have an effective estate plan.
An estate plan will ensure your assets are given to the correct parties. Furthermore, an estate plan can help settle financial disputes after you’re gone.
Unfortunately, about 55% of Americans die without any sort of will or estate plan.
This can make this complicated for your next of kin after you pass. So to help you get started on your estate plan, follow these few simple tips.
Decide Who Gets What
One of the first things you should do when creating your estate plan is to decide who gets what of your assets. If you die without a will or estate plan, the law decides who inherits your assets.
So if you want your prized possessions to go to a certain family member, make sure that is documented.
Furthermore, it’s important to note how your assets should be spent to cover specific expenses. Otherwise, your next of kin will inherit both your assets and your debt.
It’s also important to dictate who will serve as your living trust. A living trust will rid the need of going through the public probate process. Additionally, a living trust can manage your affairs if you become unable to do so.
Responsibility for Your Children
If you have children or are a guardian for a minor, it’s important to determine who will be responsible for them if both parents pass away.
Not only should you decide who will take care of them, but you should also plan for how any life insurance money will be handled regarding the children.
Estate Planning Teams
When planning how your assets will be managed after you’re gone, you may find it beneficial to work with an estate planning team.
An estate planning attorney can help guide you through the process of creating your will and ensure that it meats any regulations or requirements.
Additionally, tax and financial advisors can help minimize the amount of income taxes beneficiaries will need to may and help design an effective investment portfolio.
Overall, it’s important to not only focus on how your assets are impacting you during your lifetime but how they’ll impact your loved ones after you’re gone.
Failing to create an effective estate plan can cause problems for beneficiaries or tension between family members regarding who gets what. Because of this, your estate plan should meet not only your wants and needs, but those of your beneficiaries as well.
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