If you are thinking of hiring an estate planning attorney, you need to get organized. This article explains what you should do before your attorney meets with you to prepare your estate plan. You should also make a list of any assets you own and how much of it you wish to leave to your beneficiaries. An estate plan is a very important document, so you need to make sure it is tailored to fit your particular needs.
To get started, gather together all your financial documents. This includes your bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, retirement benefits, and investment portfolios. Also, make sure to include the information on how to access each of these accounts. Your attorney will need this information to make recommendations. Also, prepare copies of all insurance policies. A copy of your policy can help your executor make an informed decision. Make sure to consult with your estate planning attorney to discuss your particular circumstances.
Decide on your beneficiaries. Make sure you know exactly who will receive your assets and how you want them distributed. A professional estate planner, such as Womack Investment Advisers, Inc., will guide you through the process of naming beneficiaries. Many people opt to leave a portion of their estate to a charity or non-profit organization. However, it is best to have a general idea of who will receive your assets after your death.
Consider the type of medical care you want your beneficiaries to receive. In addition, you may want to specify who will take care of your minor children or disabled dependents. An estate plan can prevent the need to go through a lengthy and expensive probate process. A complete estate plan will also address non-financial issues, such as who will take care of your minor children. You may even want to designate a guardian for your minor children.
Some major life events can create a need for estate planning. The birth of a child, for example, is an important life event. A young married couple may be raising their first child, which requires an estate plan. This estate plan must take into account the child’s needs, including financial support, education, and other factors. Your estate planning attorney will help you create and implement an estate plan tailored to your circumstances.
A complete estate plan should also include the names of alternate beneficiaries and executors. While the first choice may be the best choice, you may want to consider others in your family who will fulfill those duties in the event of your untimely death. An estate plan can be complex, but it will be worthwhile once you have an attorney’s help. So, how should you prepare for estate planning? You can start by addressing these questions with your family.
A trust is a legal entity that holds assets for your beneficiaries. It allows you to control the distribution of your wealth, protect it from probate, and provide for the needs of your loved ones. Trusts are also useful for estate planning because they pass assets out of probate and minimize estate taxes when they are transferred to a trust. Additionally, they protect your assets from creditors. If you are planning to use a trust, make sure you consult an attorney before drafting your will.
In addition to preparing a will, you should consider naming beneficiaries for important financial assets such as bank accounts and investment portfolios. Be sure to include beneficiaries for bank accounts and taxable brokerage accounts as well. Be sure to synchronize beneficiary designations with your other estate plans, and review them periodically to make sure they still reflect your wishes. This is especially important if you have young children and do not want the guardianship process to be complicated and costly.
Regardless of your age or financial situation, preparing an estate plan can help ensure that your family will receive what they need. It is possible to make your estate planning process less complicated, affordable, and time-consuming than you think. Moreover, you will be doing a great service for your family and loved ones. It is one of the most considerate things you can do for your family. If you haven’t started planning yet, now is the time to do so. You can use online resources to help you with the process.
Creating a will is a crucial step in any estate plan. Besides listing beneficiaries, you may also choose to establish a living will and a healthcare power of attorney, which will dictate your wishes if you become incapacitated. You should also include a durable power of attorney for healthcare and long-term care. This document will help ensure that your family will get the care they need if you become incapacitated.