Are you new to estate planning? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about what to include in your planning. By creating an estate plan, you are taking the first step toward protecting your future. Take a look at the following tips to get a better idea of the importance of estate planning.
- Create a will. A will enables you to choose how your assets will be distributed after your death, who will manage and distribute your assets, and who will care for your children if you die. Without a will, the court or state law will make these important decisions!
- Let your loved ones know about your estate planning. Your estate plan is only effective if others know that it exists. You may want to give copies of your documents to family members. It is also a good idea to keep a list of important usernames and passwords so that your loved ones have access to your various accounts after your death.
- Have health care directives in place. This will allow you to make important medical decisions ahead of time. You can also appoint someone who will help to follow your wishes and make important medical decisions if you are ever unable to. Without this, you will be unprepared for emergencies.
- Consider implementing funeral planning. While it can be saddening to think about death, you can help your loved ones by outlining your wishes ahead of time. This will allow you to have a say in your funeral arrangements as well as take some of the stress away from your death.
- As life continues to change, make sure your estate planning is up to date. Everyone should meet with their estate planning attorney every 3 to 5 years to review and make updates. If you experience significant life changes such as the loss of a spouse, marriage, or birth of a child, it is important to update sooner.
Take the time to create an effective estate plan today. You can prepare for the future one step at a time.
If you have questions about estate planning, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.