Finance, Household & Real Estate

The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning

Do you know what will happen to your loved ones and your assets when you no longer are with them? Many people forget to prepare for their end-of-life wishes.  

Establishing a living will, assigning an estate planning lawyer, and making a health care proxy can create an estate plan. No matter your age, income, or social status, estate planning is the right choice for you.

It is about giving clarity to what happens to your heirlooms and finances when you die.

Do you need some convincing? We’ve got you covered. Below we’ve created a guide to estate planning, for you.

Determine What Asset You Have

It’s important to know what assets you have when estate planning so that you can make the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones. Your assets can be divided into two categories; non-probate and probate.

Non-probate assets are those that don’t have to go through probate courts, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Probate assets are those that will go through probate courts, such as your home and other personal property.

You’ll need to make a list of all your assets and their estimated value. Once you have your list, you can start evaluating your options. Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney from to get started.

Drafting a Will

A will allows you to stipulate how you would like your assets to be distributed after you pass away. This can be an extremely helpful tool for avoiding family conflicts and ensuring that your wishes are carried out. 

The process of drafting a will can be fairly simple or quite complex, depending on your circumstances. However, there are a few key steps that everyone should take when creating a will.

Decide on the Executor

First, you need to decide who will serve as your executor. This person will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your instructions.

List Your Assets

You need to make a list of your assets and decide how you would like them to be distributed. Once you have done this, you can start drafting your will.

Be Clear 

It is important to be as clear and concise as possible when drafting your will. You will also need to sign and date the document, as well as have it witnessed by two other people.  

Creating a Power of Attorney

When planning your estate, one of the most important documents you can create is a power of attorney. This document allows you to appoint someone you trust to handle your finances and legal affairs if you become incapacitated. 

A power of attorney can be either durable or non-durable. A durable power of attorney remains in effect if you become incapacitated, while non-durable power of attorney is only valid while you are of sound mind. You can cancel or revoke it any time, as long as you are of sound mind. 

Creating a power of attorney can give you peace of mind knowing that your affairs will be taken care of if you become unable to handle them yourself.

Start Your Estate Planning Now

If you don’t have an estate plan, now is the time to start. An estate plan is a way to ensure your wishes are known and carried out and can save your loved one’s time, money, and headaches. To get started, contact an attorney to help you determine the best way to plan for your unique situation.

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