Thinking about what happens after you die can be an uncomfortable thing to consider. Oftentimes it’s easy to put-off getting your estate plan done because you’re not planning on passing away anytime soon. However, it’s so important to have a plan in place for when the unexpected occurs so that your family won’t be left to pick up the pieces.
Estate Planning Goals
Once you decide that 2023 is the year you will solidify your estate plans, you can take small steps to get started. Estate planning does not have to happen in one meeting. Little by little, new realizations will occur, and you will add to the plan. You can revisit and make changes with each major life change, like divorce, death, or birth.
- Get the Big Picture of Your Financials: The first thing to do is figure out what assets you would leave behind if you die or become incapacitated. Whether you own property or have money tied up in investments, it is important to consider how you would want to distribute those funds.
- Create a Trust: A will may be the first thing you think about when preparing for the unexpected. But a living trust is even more fuss-free because the trust and the instructions therein will continue as usual after a death occurs. On the other hand, a standalone will has to go through the probate court process.
- Identify Beneficiaries: Take some time to thoughtfully select your beneficiaries. You can even write letters included in the estate plan to make sure there is no misinterpretation or room for speculation of coercion.
- Select a Power of Attorney: Choose someone you trust or a professional to act as your medical power of attorney if you need medical decisions made on your behalf. You will also need to appoint a financial power of attorney who can pay bills or liquidate your assets if you become incapacitated.
- Choose Guardians for Young Children: Another critical element of an estate plan is officially naming the guardians for your children. Who would you want to take over the raising of your kids? Record your wishes so that you have a say in their well-being.
Are you sure that your loved ones will be taken care of after you die? If you are even slightly hesitant, iron out the details with estate planning. Working with a trusted lawyer will make the process go smoothly.
Give Shoup Legal a Call
2023 is your year for getting your estate plan done. Give us a call us at (951) 445-4114 or email us at [email protected] to get started on the path to getting the peace of mind you deserve.