As you go through life, you need to make sure that you have a valid and comprehensive estate plan in place. An estate plan will allow you to live your life with less stress, and can ensure that your affairs are in order, no matter what. Take a look at the 5 questions below to ask yourself about your estate plan.
Do you have a will or trust in place? If you’re just beginning your planning, you may not have a will or trust. These are fundamental planning tools. You can appoint a trusted helper to handle your estate affairs, appoint a guardian for your minor children, and determine how your property will be distributed to your chosen beneficiaries. If you ignore the need for a will or trust, you won’t be able to have a say in these important matters.
Have you considered incapacity planning? If you’re ever incapacitated, you won’t be able to communicate and legally effectuate your wishes. With the right plan in place, you can appoint trusted helpers to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf. You can also outline important wishes such as end of life treatment decisions. These could include financial powers of attorney and advance health care directives.
Have you planned so that your family is always protected? Life insurance is one tool to consider as part of an estate plan. This makes it possible for your loved ones to have the money that they need to pay last expenses, debts, and future bills.
Do you want to avoid probate? Many people choose to avoid probate because it’s expensive, takes a long time, and makes your affairs public. If you want to keep your personal information private, and make sure that your loved ones receive their inheritances quickly, consider probate avoidance techniques which may include a living trust.
Is your estate plan up to date? Many people create a plan, but fail to update. You need to periodcially review your plan so that you ensure that your current needs are met, and to determine if updates need to be made. If you’ve experienced life changes, or if you haven’t looked at your planning in several years, now is the time to review with an experienced and qualifit attorney.
If you have any questions about your estate plan needs, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
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