One of the many reasons people put off planning for their estates is that they imagine it is much more difficult to do than it really is. For most people a good estate plan follows a simple formula. They need to decide who they want to inherit their property, hire an experienced estate planning attorney and have the appropriate documents drawn up.
Recently, Kiplinger wrote about four steps to take in “4 Strategies to Avoid an Estate-Planning Mishap.”
- Get a basic will that details who you want to have your property and what they should have.
- Create a living trust and put your most important assets in it. With a trust in place most of your estate will not need to go through probate after you pass away, which makes things much easier on your family.
- Make sure all of your financial accounts are properly titled. Some you might want to put in your new trust. For others you can make them payable on death so they will automatically go to a person of your designation after you pass away.
- Consider getting a life insurance policy. If your family is in need of cash after you pass away, they will have access to it through the life insurance benefit. This is a good way to make sure that your family has what it needs while waiting for your estate to be legally settled.
A qualified estate planning attorney can help you design – and implement – an estate plan appropriate for your unique circumstances.
Reference: Kiplinger (Aug. 2016) “4 Strategies to Avoid an Estate-Planning Mishap.”