Maybe you are creating an estate plan for the first time. Or maybe you are making changes to a plan you created many years ago. Either way, there are simple steps you can take to put yourself on the right track.
Here are seven things you should do:
- Make a will. Regardless of where you live, this is the simplest step you can take to ensure that your estate is in good hands.
- Learn more about the benefits of a trust. A will is enough for some people, but not all. You may want to consider a trust, as this can save your heirs time and money by avoiding probate.
- Create a health care power of attorney. Who will make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so?
- Create a financial power of attorney. With this, you can appoint somebody to care for your finances in the event that you are incapacitated.
- Understand the benefits of life insurance. It may be expensive. It may not be something you want to think about. Even so, the benefits of life insurance should have you considering this purchase.
- Know how estate taxes work in your state. This will go a long way in helping you make decisions regarding your estate plan.
- Consult with an estate planning attorney. With so many decisions to make, you may be concerned about mistakes. An attorney can answer your questions, provide advice, and help you better understand the process of creating a comprehensive estate plan.
With the seven steps above, you can create an estate plan that you will feel good about. This doesn’t mean you will never have to make changes in the future. What it does mean, however, is that you can feel better about your current situation and what would happen if you were to pass on.