You don’t want to go through all the time it takes to create a plan to protect your loved ones, just to have it riddled with errors that end up causing them stress and headaches in the end. Whether you’re creating your first plan ever, or updating an existing one, get familiar with what can trip you up, so you can write a flawless plan that accomplishes exactly what you envision while you safeguard your legacy. Estate planning is the process where you decide what happens to your property after death, it also includes a plan for what to do should you become incapacitated. This means wills, trust, power of attorney, health care surrogates, and so on. The slightest error could lead to trouble later.
The Consequences Of Failing To Plan Your Estate
Although most people don’t like to contemplate their own death, the reality is that deciding how our assets will be distributed after we pass away is crucial to ensuring that our loved ones are provided for after death. Unfortunately, those who fail to take this step and who do not create a will or establish a trust will have their assets distributed by the state according to the rules of intestacy. This is not only a time-consuming process but can also lead to a distant relative receiving property that the decedent wanted transferred to someone else. To ensure that your own loved ones are provided for after your death, even if you have modest means, you should plan as soon as possible. Just remember you cannot predict the future.
The Point Of Estate Planning Is Taking Care Of Your Loved Ones
Be sure to include your loved ones while decision making. Include your spouse, adult children, close relatives, and anyone else you would want to include in your final decisions. Listen to their needs and concerns and try and have those plans in your legal documents.
It Is Best To Not Give One Person The Entire Estate
There’s no doubt estate planning can be one of the most challenging aspects of financial planning. However, an estate plan can provide peace of mind as you determine how your assets will be distributed, who will inherit them, when your beneficiaries will receive them, and who will control the distribution. Realistically, you can name almost anybody you trust to be your executor. It’s not uncommon to appoint a family member, spouse, close friend, accountant, or lawyer to be your executor. When an executor is put in charge, they’ll handle all estate administration. This includes managing and protecting estate assets and paying for debts and taxes. Plus, the executor ensures that all of the assets outlined in the will are accounted for and transferred to the appropriate recipient. But it is best not to give them the entire estate. No matter how much you trust a single recipient, you could be creating legal trouble for them later. You will make them a target for anyone who feels left out.
Estate Planning Is About More Than Death
You will also need a plan in case you become incapacitated. It is easy to forget that estate planning does more than help our loved ones after we’re gone; it can also provide them with critical guidance about our wishes while we’re still alive, but incapable of carrying those wishes out on our own. Legal incapacity often arises due to Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you do not have an incapacity plan, your loved ones may have to scramble to get legal permission to take care of your financial affairs or agonize over medical choices on your behalf. You must consider power of attorney over your healthcare and finances in your plan.
Estate Planning Steps To Follow When You Have Children
While it is common for adults (including new parents) to procrastinate on this issue, such an approach is never wise. It is impossible to know what the future holds, but with a little advance planning, you can at least take solace in knowing that all will be well with your children should you and your partner pass away or become incapacitated. Whether you already have children or hope to have them soon, it is time to start thinking about the specific steps you can take to protect them (and the property you intend to pass on to them) via estate planning. In your will, you must name a caretaker. Your plan should detail a way to protect their money before they are 18. Creating a trust is a good choice.
Organizing And Updates Are Necessary
Let’s start with being organized and making sure you have copies of your documents for yourself, your attorney, your spouse, and anyone else involved. Always keep your documents in the same place so your loved ones know where they are kept. And do not forget about updates. Life changes and so do laws. It is important to keep updating your plan as you go. Otherwise, important new people can get left out.
Estate Planning Does Not Have To Be Expensive
It is important to understand that trying to do your own estate planning to save money now can cost your family more later and may have consequences that you did not intend. An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to provide critical guidance and peace of mind that your documents are prepared properly to meet your objectives.
Knowing you have a properly prepared plan in place—one that contains your instructions and will protect your family—will give you and your family peace of mind. Estate planning is one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for your loved ones.
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About Helmer Somers Law
Helmer Somers Law helps individuals and businesses navigate the complex system of rules that accompany all legal situations. We are licensed to practice in both Kentucky and Ohio and offers flexible, affordable payment terms for our services. We welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and become your lawyer for life! It’s a fact of life in the modern world. There comes a time for virtually every adult American when the services of a competent, dedicated lawyer are required. Circumstances such as divorce, bankruptcy, estate planning or an income tax audit demand that your rights be protected, and your long-term interests advocated for with diligence and perseverance. When you call Helmer & Somers Law, you can rest assured that they will be.