Estate Planning | What You Should Know
Estate Planning | Necessary for individuals of every age, income level and socioeconomic group. With an estate plan, individuals can ensure that their immediate family is provided for and beneficiaries can access the assets quickly. As a part of estate planning, individuals should also prepare for a potential physical or mental incapacity. Living wills and health care powers of attorney help to determine what happens if a serious illness occurs.
Inventory Physical and Non-Physical Items
Before a will is created, individuals need to calculate all of their physical and non-physical assets. They need to create a list of every item in the home that is worth $100 or more.
For the estate to be inherited, the courts will normally remove debts before the assets are transferred. To make sure that this process occurs efficiently, individuals should figure out all of their automobile loans, credit cards, mortgages and other debts in advance.
Create a Will
A will is the individual’s main way to ensure that their wishes are respected after death. The estate administrator should have a copy of the will and the list of assets. A lawyer can help with estate planning and creating the will. This document should be reviewed every three to five years to ensure that it is still current. Life changes from year to year, so the will may need to be adjusted periodically.
Figure out Life Insurance and Annuities
Life insurance and annuities are ways to ensure that family members are protected in the event that the individual dies. These are passed through a contract, so it is important that the life insurance company has listed the beneficiaries correctly.
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While there are free wills and planning guides online, it is worth the money to consult with an attorney. There are many different ways to structure an estate or a trust to limit taxes and ensure an easy transition for beneficiaries. In addition, a lawyer can help remove any loopholes or unclear aspects of the will to ensure that it will not be contested later on.