The thought of planning your estate can seem to be an intimidating task but that doesn’t validate your point of procrastinating on the matter. It is crucial to have a proper estate plan to guarantee the transfer of all the assets and money to your heirs.
Reports from Caring.Com prove Americans to be unwilling to set all their affairs in proper order. In fact, less than 43% of the adults in America have their estate planning papers like a living trust or a will. Even according to research done by the Pennsylvania University, only 28% of Americans have a health care that specifies their health care wishes.
Here are a few estate planning tips that you should keep in mind.
Congregate a hardworking team
It is a smart decision to include a team that comprises a tax professional, a financial consultant, and an estate planning attorney. The attorney can walk you through the entire estate plan and personalize it according to your assets and heirs. In this team, each one will have a unique role of their own. However, their shared goal will be to make sure all assets are disbursed among the intended heirs and organizations.
Make a note of all your wishes
Before you make an estate plan, you should know the importance of documenting all your wishes. Be clear about what you would like to do with your possessions and probate assets after your demise. If you don’t do this before your death, the state will make decisions on your behalf. Here are the must-haves in your estate plan:
- Healthcare power of attorney
- Living will
- Financial power of attorney
- Last will and testament
- Release form of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Assign guardianship rights to survivors
You should name a guardian whom you’ll assign all tasks of looking after the survivors. The survivor or the dependant can be a person whom you love dearly or even a minor. Have a discussion with your guardian to know his consent on this matter. However, keep in mind that this person need not be the same person who is left with the duty of managing the money left for the benefit of the minor.
Think of building a trust
A trust can be thought of as a container that you can build up for saving money for the future of your heirs. You will decide on what amount you want to add to the trust, how the money will be distributed, and among whom. When the trust is structured properly, you can be sure that your plan is executed as per your plan. Join hands with a legal professional who has had experience in trusts and estate planning.
In case either you or your spouse is chronically ill and you have to go through expensive medical care that cuts into your assets, a financial advisor or an attorney can help. He will find out ways for meeting your long-term medical needs without having to dig into the assets that you earmarked for your loving heirs.