It is the unknown that often trips up people. But, sometimes, what we find out is that we are the ones standing in our own way of overcoming the unknown. This can be the case with estate planning and creating a will.
Whether you have a modest or large estate, it is a good idea to have a will. You want to be the one determining what happens to your assets after you die. But something is holding you back. Although you may not want to think about your mortality, you know creating an estate plan is necessary and will allow your beneficiaries to breathe a sigh of relief.
Research, decide and update
Understanding the process and necessary preparation are crucial parts of estate planning. Here is what to expect:
- Do some independent research about estate planning and wills. There are many online sources as well as great personal finance books available. Also, ask trusted friends about their experiences.
- Select a skilled estate planning attorney. Reach out to trusted family members, friends and professionals such as your insurance agent, financial planner and even clergy. They can provide you with a good list of candidates.
- In meeting with an estate planning attorney, ask plenty of questions. An attorney will explain the process and describe the options depending on the size of your estate.
- Put on your decision-making thinking cap. You must name beneficiaries, providing them with specific amounts or percentages of your estate. If you are a parent, name a guardian for your children. The selection of powers of attorney for finance- and health-related matters also is crucial.
- Enlist a trusted and financially savvy family member or friend to serve as executor. Your lawyer, accountant and financial adviser also are potential candidates.
- After receiving copies of your will along with powers of attorney documents, store them in a secure place such as a safe at home or safe deposit box at a financial institution. And make sure to tell your spouse, family members or executor where they are.
- Always update your will when matters in your life change. Maintain steady contact with your attorney.
See. It is not that difficult or intimidating. As long as you know what to expect and what steps you need to take, you can create an estate plan and a will. In the long run, your beneficiaries will applaud you.