When it comes to tackling complex problems, it’s easy to shy away from the responsibility. At a glance, looking at a large process like estate planning can be daunting to say the least, with so many steps and specifics to consider.
Like any other major undertaking, though, we can ease the pressure by breaking down the steps into smaller, more manageable tasks. If you approach estate planning systematically (especially with the help of an attorney), the process won’t seem so impossible, and you’ll make noticeable progress as you go.
Based on some tips from a recent Fox Business article, here’s some insight to help you start your estate planning in the right direction.
Get a Grand Total
When looking at your assets, take everything into account, from savings to life insurance policies, property ownership to possible inheritance. Taking stock of every possible aspect of your estate will help in the long run. You want the most accurate picture possible.
Trusts help protect your assets from creditors and/or ex-spouses, as well as make it easier for your assets to pass on to heirs. Trusts can help your assets from being tied up in probate courts, and can help your heirs avoid estate taxes. Ask your attorney or financial advisor about trusts for your assets.
Chose Your Agent Wisely
At some point, you will need to choose an individual to make decisions on your behalf (through power of attorney), in case you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to make the decisions yourself. This applies to both healthcare and finances – so you will want to make sure it is someone you trust completely.
Know What Your Will Can Do
Work directly with an attorney to make sure you understand exactly what your will is going to do for you. A will allows you to pass assets and property to heirs and name guardians for minor children. It will also appoint individuals to carry out your last wishes. Be careful not to make assumptions though, there may be things to address that your will does not cover.
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