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Estate Planning is something that most of us don’t want to think about. Yet, it’s important. It’s the one legal document that will save your family from a lot of hassle if it’s done right. Estate planning, in-short, is the sum of your belongings that remain after your death. This can be money and property.
Let’s outline what an estate plan entails.
When the event happens, you want to have control over who receives what. Remember that this can be to family and friends but also your favorite organizations. The sky’s the limit on what you can do with your own estate. There’s a logical way of doing things to keep it simple.
Estate Planning Prior to Passing
Make sure you have a solid plan for who will take care of you in case you can’t care for yourself. You’ll want to make sure you have all the details from religious ceremonies to the place you wish to rest. Burial or cremation, who delivers the Eulogy and if it will be religious or not.
Who will be the legal guardian for any minor children?
Make sure you have all the paperwork completed and copies handed to all who need to have it, or at least tell them where to find it after the fact.
If you have special needs relatives, make sure you talk to an estate lawyer so that whatever benefits they’re entitled to continue. You’ll want to be sure that those benefits go to their care and not into the wrong hands.
Life insurance, SSI benefits, disability or any monies collected by you will discontinue or transfer to someone else. Make sure you know what each of those benefits will do. You don’t want to leave important people without or with a fight to handle along with the grief.
Misconceptions of Estate Planning
One of the most common misconceptions about estate planning is that you do this in retirement. We can’t predict when the event will happen, so retirement is too late. Our estate planning should happen early before we create dependents and continue as our lives change.
As we gain property, possessions, and money and as we change the dynamic of our relationships, our estate plan should be tight and right so they say. This makes things seamless for you and the ones you leave behind.
The Stressful Bottom Line
If you don’t have an intentional estate in place the state and courts will handle it in a rather carefree way. They won’t investigate with compassion what you would have done. They’ll assume that if you cared where not only your belongings and money went, but your children, then you would have taken care.
In fact, your spouse and kids may not receive all the benefits you leave behind. It’s nothing to drag our heels about. Talk to an estate lawyer today for your peace of mind tomorrow.