After all, everybody dies; the only mystery is when. It shouldn’t matter whether you have a small amount of estate or a big one—you have to ensure your interests are in order. You would like the right individuals to succeed your riches and move on with your legacy. If you abruptly die without planning out your estate, it will create many problems for the ones you leave behind. Don’t deceive yourself into believing that you’re too young to make this kind of plan, since you can never know when it’s your moment to go. For your personal satisfaction and to make life better for your loved ones, hire an estate planning attorney to put your affairs in order. Here are four essential tips on estate planning.
Create a List of Your Wealth
You need to start by evaluating your assets. You should be a detective of your own and find out everything you own. The easiest way to start this process is to make a list of all you own, including insurance policies, bank accounts, and retirement investments. Then proceed and make a list of your physical property like a home, rental property, and vehicles. You should also make a separate list of your debts. Include any rent-to-own property or leases on vehicles and credit card payments if you are not debt-free.
Get the Power of Attorney and Living Will
These documents are essential to making sure you remain in control of what transpires with you and your finances when you’re sick or incapacitated. A power of attorney enables you to assign the person who will manage your money if you become sick or incapacitated. On the other hand, a living will enables you to choose and describe the specific types of medical care you’d like to get if you cannot express your desires.
State the Beneficiaries
You should request beneficiary documents for all accounts that let you assign payable-on-death recipients. If you are wed, it is most obvious that your partner owns half or is listed as a recipient of the account. Therefore, it would not hurt to place it on paper legally so that no unnecessary questions are raised. You should also appoint beneficiaries of any properties that may be transferred with a survivorship guarantee, such as a home, vehicle, or other real estate property. This easy move will save your dear ones a huge amount of time by ensuring that these properties go straight to them without having to go through the legal system.
Choose a Last Will and Testament
A last will is a form of estate planning that helps you assign anything, from property to custody. If you have small children, it’s important you clearly state custody so that no family conflicts arise. A last will also enables you to decide how your property will be specifically divided so that your dear ones can be cared for as per your desires and not the state’s regulations.
As you have seen, planning out your estate is worth the investment as it is a great way of protecting your property and dear ones when you are gone.
Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber