It’s never too early or late to start estate planning; however, no matter when you begin planning, you need to make sure that all of your assets are protected.
Estate planning is one of the most valuable steps any adult can take when it comes to protecting both their family and their assets. An estate plan helps ensure that your loved ones are carefully included in your will, that trusts are designed to provide for them even after you pass away, and that your assets are cared for in a way that makes you happy. For some adults, the idea of estate planning can be overwhelming or even emotionally difficult. It’s natural to find the idea of planning to be a bit challenging; however, keep in mind that your attorney can help guide you with care and compassion and can assist you in ensuring that you’re able to carefully protect all of your assets using your estate plan.
First off, when you meet with your attorney, make sure that you disclose all of your assets. Never try to hide certain assets from your attorney. Keep in mind that no matter what your concerns might be, your lawyer can help you come up with a plan for protecting your assets. Maybe you’re worried what will happen to your property if something goes wrong with your business or if you separate from your partner. Bring up any concerns so that your lawyer can talk with you about your options. Understanding exactly how many properties and financial assets you have is very important, however, so always fully disclose what you own. Your attorney may suggest that you utilize a trust, for example, and can help you set this up.
It’s also important that you understand what your desires are for your assets and their distribution after your death. If you have specific relatives you want to benefit from your estate, you need to name them in your will or create a trust to ensure they receive what you want them to. The more specific and detailed your estate plan is, the more likely it is to be followed. Additionally, remember that you can disinherit certain people from your estate. If you are estranged from a spouse or a child, for example, you can talk about this with your attorney and take the necessary steps to ensure they do not receive anything when you pass.
If you have minor children at the time you create your estate plan, make sure you have someone you trust who will both care for your children and their inheritance. Having someone who can help oversee your estate and protect your loved ones is vital. Talk with your attorney about how you can best select a potential guardian for your children and a trustee for your trust. It’s important to choose someone who both understands and respects your wishes, as this will help protect your properties and financial assets until your children reach adulthood and are able to benefit from the estate fully.
When you’re ready to begin creating a plan that will protect your loved ones and your assets, reach out to your attorney to schedule an appointment. Remember to bring documents detailing your financial and personal assets, as this can help ensure your estate plan is as detailed and thorough as possible.