Posted By Seamus McDonald on 07/02/2022 in Category 1

Seven steps to basic Estate Planning (2022)

Seven steps to basic Estate Planning (2022)

The Estate Planning process can seem like a daunting task. It is important to keep your intentions clear when making decisions about how you would like the future of your assets and legacy to be handled should something happen unexpectedly, such as death or retirement from work before age 65 years old where there may not yet have been time enough for proper planning with an attorney who specializes in this area but that doesn't mean it's impossible!

There are seven easy steps below on what anyone looking at starting their own estate planning can do to get the probate process going.

1. Determine what assets you have and what you would like to do with them. This includes anything from tangible assets or intangible assets, bank accounts savings, investment accounts, or other financial accounts, vehicles, jewelry, art collections, and even digital assets such as cryptocurrency or online memberships.

2. Make a list of your debts and other financial obligations like estate taxes. This will help to determine what will need to be paid off or taken care of should something happen to you. Ensure you have enough life insurance policy to cover final expenses and any debts, and estate tax, as well as to provide for family members who may be financially dependent on you. You can get help from financial advisors OR from any financial institution.

3. Choose who you would like to receive your assets and in what proportions. You may also consider setting up trusts for children or grandchildren if you have them.

4. Choose an executor for your estate. This is the person who will be responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out according to your estate plan.

5. Make sure all of your documents are up to date and in order. This includes items such as your will, power of attorney, advance health care directive (this document is often called a living will), and any other legal document that may be relevant.

6. Meet with an estate planning attorney to review your documents and plan. This is not required, but it can be helpful to have a professional look over everything to make sure everything is in order and that there are no gaps in your planning.

7. Establish your directives for final arrangements. This includes things such as whether you would like to be buried or cremated, and what you would like done with your remains. You may also want to consider pre-planning your funeral or memorial service to save your family members the stress of having to make these decisions on their own.

Estate planning is an essential task, but it doesn't have to be complicated or overwhelming. By taking these seven simple steps, you can create a comprehensive plan that will give you and your loved one peace of mind in knowing that your wishes will be carried out should something happen to you.

Review your estate planning documents periodically and update them as needed. Life changes and so do our assets and wishes for what happens to them. Make sure to keep your estate plan up to date so that it can still serve its purpose when you need it most.

Estate planning is an important task that should not be put off until later in life. Make sure your paperwork is done correctly, even the slightest mistake can have a long-lasting effect on your estate.

By taking the time to establish what your assets are and how you would like them to be handled, you can give yourself and your loved one peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out should something happen to you. You should consider discussing the complexities of both a Will and a Living Trust with your lawyer to make the best decision for your family.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with getting started on your estate planning, please contact one of our lawyers.