Planning for your own death can be highly uncomfortable, but failure to set up a proper estate plan can cause a lot of problems for your family in the future. Being prepared and taking care of estate planning now will ensure that your wishes are followed and your assets are allocated they way that you want them to be. Use the following tips to set up an estate plan:
Hire an Attorney
While it is technically possible for you to set up an estate plan on your own, it is not recommended. When you're ready to plan your estate, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney who specializes in estate planning, such as those from Klotz Jean Law Office Of. Your attorney will guide you through the process and ensure that everything is legally binding.
Create a Guardianship Plan
Hopefully you will live to see your minor children grow up and have children of their own, but it is essential to have a plan in place in the event that both you and your children's other parent pass away prior to them reaching adulthood. Having a guardianship plan will ensure that your children will be taken care of by a person or persons of your choosing. If you do not have a guardianship plan in place, the court system will determine who will raise your children.
Make a Will or Living Trust
Many Americans do not have a will or living trust in place, which can make it difficult to distribute their assets after their death. A will or living trust will allow you to outline exactly where you want your assets to go after your passing. Your financial situation will determine whether a will or a trust is a better option for you. One reason that a lot of people establish a trust is so that their family can avoid having to deal with probate court.
Choose a Trusted Executor
The executor of an estate is the person or entity that carries out all of the wishes outlined in your estate plan. In many cases, a person chooses a trusted family member or close friend to serve as executor. If you hold a lot of assets or have a complicated financial situation, you may choose to hire a professional management firm to serve as executor of your estate.
Establish Medical Power of Attorney
While a lot of estate planning involves decisions that pertain to what will happen after your death, you will also need to establish a medical power of attorney. The person who you appoint to hold your medical power of attorney will legally be able to make decisions on your behalf if you are physically or mentally incapacitated.