When you hear estate planning you may think of giant mansions, jets and yachts, or maybe a precious heirloom diamond broach from your great-great Aunt Myrtle.
Simply put, estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of your property and assets either during your lifetime or after your death. However, studies show that 55% of Americans die without a will or estate plan. (American Bar Association)
By planning for the future now, with the help of knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Office of Andrew Dósa, you can help loved ones avoid a stressful situation later. This blog outlines some of the basics of estate planning you should know as you begin the process with your family.
First, you must begin the conversation. No one likes talking about the death of a loved one, but there are practicalities that must be considered before if it too late. Consider who will take care of you if you become incapacitated. If a spouse dies, what will that mean to your household income or your family’s holdings? Also consider what it will mean to become a parent’s default caregiver. These responsibilities may be best shared among siblings or relatives to ease the burden of an elderly or ailing parent.
Next, be sure to check beneficiary designations on retirement and banking accounts. Make sure that these accounts are titled. This is a necessary step to including these assets in your trust or will. Of course, these designations can change over time, but it is important to at least start the process with a name in mind.
And finally, no matter your age or income, have the following in order:
Financial power of attorney
- Health-care power of attorney
- Living will or trust
- And a will, particularly as it pertains to a dependent minor
Making a plan in advance can help save you and your family time, money, and a lot of stress later on. For more information and resources you need to answer your estate planning questions, visit: http://www.dosalaw.com/practice-areas/estate-planning/