Each year, it’s important for anyone interested in planning for the future of their assets to either create or revise their estate plan. Taking the time and including loved ones in estate planning discussions is the best thing that you can do to avoid conflict or estate planning disagreements.
Estate planning involves planning for the use of your assets after you become incapacitated or pass away. While many people think that estate plans are written in stone, this is not the truth. In actuality, various life events including births and divorce should lead people to review and ultimately revise the terms of their estate plan.
Acknowledge What You Own
The best place to begin estate planning is to appreciate what you have as well as what you own. You should then itemize your assets as well as what you owe and decide on your net worth. You should then distinguish important documents and file them in a secure location. Some types of important documents include tax returns, real estate records, and insurance policies.
Decide On Your Estate Planning Goals
The next best step is to distinguish some estate planning goals after you become incapacitated or pass away. While it’s not always easy to do, you should engage in a discussion with your spouse, family members, and other loved ones. If 2022 is a year to review your estate, you should engage in discussion with your children if they were young when your estate plan was initially created. Even though these exchanges can be difficult, they’re vital to have. Your family will understand and appreciate learning about your estate planning strategy now instead of finding out about things after you pass away or become incapacitated.
Establish Healthcare Directives
Creating a durable power of attorney as well as advance living directives are a vital part of estate planning. In some cases, you might need a financial professional to make sure that your assets are distributed as you intend with as little tax ramifications as possible. You should organize a team and routinely meet with them when large transactions are involved.
Look Past the Challenges
Cost and difficult conversations are what stop many people from creating estate plans. Despite these challenges, you should ask yourself that if something happened tonight, what would happen to your assets. Some of the other important estate planning questions that you should ask yourself include:
- Who will care for your young children
- What will happen to your aging parents
- Who will provide for your children and spouses
- Whether the family business will continue
- Whether you’ve done everything possible to reduce estate taxes and legal costs
Contact a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney
Most people have some type of estate plan. If that plan involves doing nothing, state law will determine how your assets will be passed on after you pass away. State law might not pass on your assets in a way you approve. Your spouse and loved ones must follow the law and cannot adhere to what they know you want unless you have sufficient estate planning documents. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.