Planning your estate is an important step for any professional. It’s vital that you plan exactly how your assets and property will be divided among your heirs, but there’s more to estate planning than just creating a will. Here’s what you need to know.
Estate planning is often considered part of end-of-life planning and care, but the reality is that even young adults should consider planning their estates. Death can occur at anytime and having an estate plan in place can help ensure that your loved ones understand your wishes and desires. The American Bar Association estimates that as many as 55% of Americans pass away without having a will or estate plan created. Death is an emotional experience for those left behind and failing to prepare for your passing can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for them. It’s important to consider creating a plan that can not only guide your loved ones, but that will let them know exactly what your wishes are. Before you get started, however, there are three important things you need to know.
You can change your plan
Keep in mind that creating a will is important, but that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. You can change your will. You can change the terms of a trust. You can alter your Advance Medical Directive. You have options. Some adults are unsure what their wishes will be in five, ten, or twenty years, so they avoid creating a will now. It’s important that you create an estate plan that fits your current lifestyle and desires. Then you can update it on a regular basis. All you’ll need to do is meet with your lawyer and they can assist you in making any necessary changes.
You can disinherit heirs
Most people think about the people they do want included in their will, but it’s also important to think about who you do not want included. When you create your estate plan, you’ll need to discuss any family members or friends who may try to stake a claim when it comes to your estate. Talk with your attorney about anyone you want specifically disinherited from your will. Having this is writing will make it clear that they are not to receive anything from your estate.
You can be specific
Sometimes when people have large estates or huge amounts of property, it’s easiest to divide the estate based on percentages. Understand, however, that it’s okay to be specific. If you want your daughter to receive a particular painting, for example, you can put this in your will. If you want your son to receive a specific amount of money, you can do this, too. No matter how large or small your estate is, it’s okay to have specific wishes and desires in your will. In fact, you should. The more detailed your will is, the less room there will be for misunderstanding.
When you’re ready to begin the estate planning process, reach out and meet with your attorney. They’ll help you plan for end of life care, create an Advance Medical Directive, and even assist you creating a thorough and legally-binding will. Don’t wait. Reach out today.