The Time Is Now: Estate Planning In 3 Easy Steps

Law Blog

Thinking about the life that will go on after you die is never pleasant. Unfortunately, planning for the worst is necessary to protect your money and your family, and that's where estate planning comes in. Estate planning allows you to decide what will happen to your money, property, and belongings; it also allows you to plan how your family will be taken care of once you're gone. Estate planning can be an overwhelming process, but following this simple checklist can help you get organized and take the pressure off.

1. Draft a will. You've probably heard it before, but having a will is one of the best ways to protect your assets in the event of your death. Without a will, the law dictates how your estate gets settled, so there's no way to guarantee what your loved ones will get. When estates are settled by the law, there are typically higher fees involved than if the estate is settled by a will, which is why it's so important to be prepared. Because the wording of a will is so important, it's best to leave this task to a professional lawyer.

2. Choose your beneficiaries. A beneficiary can be named in a will, but it can also be named in a life insurance policy or on a retirement account. A beneficiary will be the recipient of your money or the money from your life insurance plan, so it's important to always keep the beneficiary on any account up to date. Some people even name more than one beneficiary in case something was to happen to the first. Naming an immediate family member as a beneficiary can also reduce estate costs.

3. Prepay your funeral. While this might seem morbid, having funeral expenses set aside in advance will take a huge burden off your grieving loved ones; planning in advance also gives you the added benefit of saving money over time. There are special trust accounts where you can keep this money until it needs to be accessed. In addition to prepaying for your funeral, you should also let your loved ones know what type of funeral you would like; doing this will give them some peace of mind.

Failing to plan for your death can result in family conflict, higher fees, and a longer settlement. By using this checklist to prepare for the future, you can increase your peace of mind in the present.

For more information, contact Housecall Wills & Estates or a similar firm.


8 July 2015