Estate planning can seem like a daunting or depressing task. However, without proper planning, you will not have a say in how the state divides your assets.
If the process seems difficult, make small, simple steps to at least cover the basics of estate planning.
1. Make a financial inventory
The first step is to make a list of your assets and your debts that will inevitably go through probate. Include all pieces of property, special belongings, businesses, investment plans, life insurance policies and other assets you may wish to give to an inheritor. You can appraise assets later. For now, having a simple list of the most important assets is a good start.
2. Choose beneficiaries
Who do you want to inherit pieces of your property? Knowing the needs of your beneficiaries can help you figure out what assets to focus on. In addition to including this in your will, designate beneficiaries on any retirement plans or investment accounts so that they receive payouts.
3. Make a list of who you trust
Part of estate planning includes designating a guardian for your minor children, a power of attorney for healthcare decisions and an executor who will carry out the wishes in your will. These are extremely important decisions to make, but creating a list of people you trust can help you narrow things down and weigh your options.
4. Consult with an attorney
Schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney to discuss your goals and wishes to make sure that your documents meet your needs. Everyone’s situation is a little bit different and cookie cutter forms online do not fit everyone’s goals or needs.
Taking baby steps towards estate planning can ensure you have the essentials covered.