Five Tips when Creating an Estate Plan

Estate planning is for everyone, not just for the wealthy. Having an estate plan prevents confusion about your end-of-life wishes and emotional stress for the people you will leave behind. An estate plan offers detailed directives for all your assets, guardianship wishes, trusts, and more. When creating an estate plan, the following are some tips to guide you:

Create an Estate Planning Team

Your planning team must include a financial advisor, tax expert, and a McKinney estate planning attorney. Your team will help in mapping out a complete estate plan that fits your situation and desires. Every member of this team plays a vital role in the process. Working with this team ensures the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries and heirs with as little confusion as possible. 

Document Your Wishes

When planning your estate, you must clearly state what you want to happen to your probate assets and belongings when you die. If you don’t have this document, the state may make the decisions for you. Your estate plan must include the components below a financial power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, a living well, last will and testament, as well as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) release forms.

Think About Trusts

When planning your estate, you must decide what you will put into the trust, who gets what, and how it is distributed. With a properly structured trust, you can make sure your plan is carried out exactly how you intended. Make sure to work with an estate planning attorney whose specialization includes dealing with trusts. They can work you through the necessary steps to accomplish this part of the estate planning process.

Ensure You Have a Current List of Personal Property

Particularly in contentious families, miscellaneous personal property like furniture, family keepsakes, household effects, and other items hold significant value to some family members and can become a source of conflict. That is why you need to expressly address these items in your wills and trusts. Typically, you can designate the beneficiary of these items directly in the will or trust or designate the beneficiary in a separate list referenced by the will or trust. The second approach is cost-efficient and flexible because it lets you change the list over time without arranging for your probate lawyer to formally update the estate plan. 

Prepare for Long-Term Care

A financial advisory can help you prepare for long-term care needs while you preserve your assets. Ensure you discuss your options and establish several plans should your health change. 

 

Paul Petersen

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