Life should be cherished daily because it is finite. Looking at the data, about 57% of the Americans do not have a written will. It’s not that they don’t understand the importance of estate planning, it’s just that they don't necessarily follow through.
A lot of people avoid the discussion of creating a will because they think that it’s too expensive in hiring an attorney. In today’s times, you can prepare your will in just one sitting using only a few documents. Keep in mind that life planning will help your family through very tough times. With that being said, here are a few smart estate planning tips:
1. Put your will in writing
If you die without a written will, you allow complete strangers to decide how your estate will be split up. Be sure to check do-it-yourself websites where they let you update your will every now and then to account for significant changes in your life such as the birth of a child.
2. Take an inventory of all of your assets and liabilities
Be sure to determine your net worth and assets under your estate. On top of that, debts must not be left out. Keep in mind that the law usually requires special provisions when assessing certain assets like businesses.
3. Deciding how your assets should be distributed
Take your time and carefully evaluate who you want to be your beneficiaries. Once you’ve done this, you proceed to know how your assets will be distributed among them.
4. Determining the person who will manage your plan
Who do you want to serve as an executor of your last will? Do you want it to be an attorney or a family member?
5. Determining the type of estate planning
Choosing the right life planning method, such as writing a will, makes the most sense. Also, there are those who prefer a revocable trust in order to prevent any court oversight.
6. Find the right attorney
Do your homework and find the right attorney who will draw up your will and various necessary documents. On top of that, you can ask around for any referrals to lawyers who have life planning expertise.
7. Know the documents for safekeeping
Estate planning involves a lot of paperwork. Identify which of these documents are worth keeping in a safe and accessible location. Not only is this act necessary, but it will also avoid any delays for when your executor is winding up the estate.
8. Talking to your heirs
The spouse is usually considered as an heir of the estate and can serve as a significant role in the administration process of the deceased. They are informed by the executor through a formal court appointment which could happen weeks or months after the death.
9. Considering life insurance
If you don’t have enough funds to support your family’s expenses, life insurance can be a good deal for you. You can consult experts and find out how much you need so that your loved ones will be able to live free of financial burden and big struggles.
10. Getting legal help for choosing the right estate plan
With all of these tips in mind, it can be a bit overwhelming. Furthermore, you can seek legal help in finding the best estate plan for you.
Finding the right attorney whom you can trust to execute your estate properly is a smart way of looking after your family even when you are gone. Some terminologies may seem archaic, but the good thing is that you don’t have to do this all on your own.
Whether you've no idea about life planning or actually thinking of estate planning, If I Croak can help you prepare. Visit our website for more info.