Have you considered what happens to your estate when you’re no longer there? It may not be best to leave it off until it’s too late—you have to think about what you want to do with your estate while you’re still here. For that reason, you will need an estate plan. Although the steps in making one will seem intimidating, all it takes is to break it down into smaller, easy-to-digest pieces.
What Is Estate Planning?
It is always a good idea to be on top of everything that you own in your estate. Going about this involves steps and procedures to manage it as needed. Estate planning is a process that protects your loved ones by facilitating asset transfers when you’re no longer around.
Your last will and living trust are part of estate planning and are some of the most important aspects of it. In short, you will need an estate plan if you want to protect the assets that you want to pass on.
If you haven’t considered having one, now is the best time to do so. Be sure to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer to help you come up with one.
The Steps In Estate Planning
Many individuals find estate planning to be a little too complex and may leave it off until it’s too late. While it may seem like a long and tedious process, it’s also vital to you and your estate that you have a plan on what to do with it.
If you want to get started with estate planning, what are the steps that you should take? How will it work out for you? Whenever you’re stumped on how to go about it, then here is what the whole process will look like for you.
Make The Decision To Start
Before anything else, you have to decide that you will do it. Too many people take too long to make the choice and then end up in probate, where it is too late. You can get started by looking for a competent estate planning attorney, one who has your best interest at heart.
This is an important part of it since you will be working with that person with your most important assets. It’s not enough to look for someone you know, who you think can handle it for you. Most of the time, they have to be an individual who handles estates professionally. Otherwise, it could spell disaster if you choose the wrong person: disagreements may happen or, worst case scenario, you could lose your estate altogether.
Come Up With Draft Documents
Then, you need to take a look at your situation: what is your estate like? What assets do you have? What are some matters to consider regarding your heirs? That’s when you have to look for drafts that likely cater to your circumstances and then choose one that is most suitable. Then, upon choosing the best draft for your situation, you will need to customize it further. You should fill it out with the correct information.
Follow The Correct Signing Process
Always sign correctly. Affixing your signature means that your trustee and heirs are going to look at it in the future. When you’re no longer around, your signature will speak for you. That legally-binding document that you sign essentially grants permission for your trustee to divide assets to your heirs, among other matters.
You should take signing seriously and treat it as a crucial moment for you, your trustee, and your heirs. Consider that when signing, witnessing, and notarizing. Of course, you can do all these on your own. Still, it is important to work with an estate planning lawyer to ensure everything is in order.
Create A Living Trust
Your last will won’t be enough to protect your assets and may lead to a few setbacks. If you only have a will, it will have to go into probate twice. You will need to spend thousands of dollars for court proceedings when you’re still alive. When you’re no longer around, your heirs may have to spend another few thousand more.
Living trusts do not go through probate. A trust facilitates the transfer of assets to heirs while you are still around. It also holds assets and distributes them to heirs in your absence. Take note that trusts are usually more expensive and require more maintenance. However, they’re faster and will help you save on probate costs.
Update And Maintain The Estate Plan
Once you have your estate plan ready—your will, trust, and all—you need to inform your banks, investment companies, dealerships, and others. Anything that you put money into or are paying for should know what you intend to do to your assets. This is both for while you’re there and when you’re no longer around.
It’s important for you to update your estate plan every year since your circumstances may change. To help you out, you should have someone you trust to review and update your plan, to make sure that all information is correct at that moment. All that should stay relevant in the foreseeable future.
Seek An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
You may find estate planning daunting but you should take the first step into going about it. Managing your assets is important, after all, if you want to protect them while you’re still here and when you’re no longer present. Be sure to find someone who can assist you with your estate plan, from making it to executing it. An estate planning attorney can help you reach your goals to carry out your wishes when managing and distributing assets to your heirs.
Keystone Law Firm assists you in planning your estate when you want to get started. The law firm will aid you in coming up with a plan, finding the most suitable drafts, signing and notarizing legally-binding documents, transferring your assets to heirs, and cementing your legacy. Keystone Law Firm helps you in protecting your estate, as well as your heirs.
Estate planning protects your estate and everything in it. Having an estate plan is a solid way to make sure that you transfer everything you own to the right people—your heirs. Instead of waiting it out, you should get started by finding someone competent enough to help you with an estate plan.
You should look for the most suitable documents before affixing your signature correctly. It’s not enough that you have a last will, so it may be best to have a living trust to make asset transfers easier. Once you have your estate plan ready, make sure that you update and maintain it at least every year with someone’s help. Lastly, if you need someone to assist you, look for an experienced estate planning attorney.