Estate Planning: When & Where To Start

Many people don’t know when and where to start when it comes to planning their estate.

It can seem like there are too many things that you need to know about, such as trusts to reduce taxes, issues about guardianship, and how to distribute your assets. Then you need to think about finding the time and money to hire a lawyer to help you draft a will.

So where do you start?

The best way to begin is simply by thinking about what you want to happen when you’re gone.

Nobody likes to think about their own death, but it is an eventuality and needs to be planned for. The sooner you think about planning your estate the sooner you can act. Once you have your estate in order, you’ll be able to enjoy knowing that your family is taken care of in the way you want.

Organize and arrange all of your financial information.

Take into account all of your assets as well as your debt.  You need to have accurate information about how much your estate is worth so remember to include your intangible assets such as any investments you’ve made, your insurance policies, any art collections you have, and your personal property such jewelry and furniture.

When you have a full picture of what your estate is all about you can decide what’s at risk.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you draft your will.

They will be able to help you figure out if your estate is subject to any taxes, whether it will have to go through a probate court, and potentially how to avoid both processes. An experienced attorney will also educate you about and address the risks  to your estate in the event that you’re incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself.

Finally, talk to your family and discuss what effect your estate planning will have on them.

Talk about their wishes and how they want to see your assets distributed.

At the same time, make certain that you talk about your own wishes since what you want is just as important.

The more you talk before your death the less likely there are to be problems after your death.

Keep an eye on the future. Your estate will grow and change over time so it’s important that you review it on a regular basis. Planning ahead puts you in control of your choices!

We invite you for an Estate Planning Wellness Check! Get started today »

Planning ahead is a gift to your loved ones!