Do you have an estate plan? If not, you should consider creating one. An estate plan is a document that outlines your wishes for your property and assets after you die. It can be helpful to have this document in place, especially if you have children or other loved ones who will need to know what to do with your belongings after you’re gone. This article will outline seven easy steps for creating a solid estate plan. You can ensure your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away by following these steps.
1. Make A Will
The most important part of your estate plan is your will. Your will is a document that explains how you want particular property and assets to be distributed upon your death. This portion of the estate plan is significant if you have children or other people who would inherit from you had you not created this document ahead of time. This document is the key to having everything carried out as you wish. It’s what ensures those you care about are taken care of, and it outlines how you want your property distributed when you die. Your will does not go into effect until after death, so it’s crucial to give copies to anyone who needs one (such as your executor).
2. Choose The Right Executor
The next step in creating your estate plan is choosing an executor. This person will be responsible for following through with all of your wishes as outlined in the estate plan and will ensure those left behind are taken care of as you wish. Your executor can be a family member, friend, or professional such as a financial adviser. It’s essential to choose someone you trust and organized enough to carry out your wishes as outlined in the plan.
3. Get A Second Opinion
After creating your estate plan, you should get a second opinion from a professional such as a lawyer or financial adviser specializing in this area of law in Scottsdale. An estate planning attorney in Scottsdale can look at your plan and see if any loopholes may cause problems down the road. By getting a second opinion, you will feel confident in your decision to have an estate plan in place for when you pass away. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for this type of consultation, while others will do it free of charge. Before hiring any lawyer, ensure they are licensed and in good standing with their state bar association.
4. Ensure All Documents Are Up-to-Date And Accurate
As part of creating and implementing your estate plan, ensure you update and check all of your essential documents. Documents such as titles, deeds, powers of attorney, etc., should always be kept up-to-date because they change when situations such as marriage or divorce occur or when assets such as property are sold or purchased. Ensure these documents stay current with changes in tax laws and other national regulations that can affect them (for better or worse). It is vital to keep a current copy of your will and other estate papers in a secure location after you have changed the original documents.
5. Decide What Happens to Your Property After Your Death
Another vital part of your estate plan is deciding the fate of your property and assets after you die. You can choose to sell some or all of your property and transfer the money into a bank account for your loved ones, or you can leave it all in specific locations so that those who inherit it can find it. You may also choose to give some of your property to charity or keep it all for yourself and bequeath it upon your death.
6. Create An Advanced Health Care Directive
To ensure your estate plan is followed in the unfortunate event of an accident or severe illness, you will also need an advanced health care directive, which outlines all of your specific wishes for medical treatments and future medical decisions if you are unable to communicate them due to incapacitation. To accomplish this, create a document with clear instructions and include it in papers and all relevant electronic documents.
7. Include An Emergency Contact In Your Estate Plan
If you become incapacitated or mentally disabled during your life due to illness or injury, whoever contacts your caregiver or close friends and family member should access and control your money and property easily until you recover or until after your death. To accomplish this, include an emergency contact clause in both papers and on your electronic documents. Remember that you might not communicate on a conscious level if something happens.
An estate plan can make sure your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away, but it could cause unnecessary grief and confusion without one in place. To avoid this situation, create an estate plan that includes all of the above-listed components so that you know what will happen to your property when you die.