10 Essential Estate Planning Tips Everyone Should Know

10 Essential Estate Planning Tips Everyone Should KnowThere are estate planning tips everyone should know to prepare for the future and protect what they’ve worked so hard to build. It can be easy to put off these decisions for as long as possible because they’re difficult and even uncomfortable. But, they’re vital for the sake of your family and future wellbeing. Here’s some of our best advice!

1. Make a Guardianship Plan

If you have young kids, one of the essential considerations for your estate plan is who would raise your kids if something happened to both parents. You should include guidelines for how life insurance payouts and inheritance for your children should be handled so they’re taken care of no matter what. You will also want to consider if the person caring for your children will manage their money as well, or if you will name a different person for that role.

2. Think About a Trust

The probate court process can be lengthy and stressful for your loved ones. If you want to avoid this, consider creating a living trust, especially if you have assets of significant value. A trust can also be used to designate someone to handle your assets if you become unable to.

3. Protect Your Business

If you’re a business owner, you will have additional decisions to make, such as a succession plan if you’re the sole owner. If you are a co-owner with business partners, you’ll need to draw up a buyout agreement.

4. Assign Medical Power of Attorney

Certain injuries, sicknesses, or simply getting older could render it impossible for you to make decisions about your own medical care. Make sure you assign this power to a person that you trust to abide by your wishes.

10 Essential Estate Planning Tips Everyone Should Know5. Make a Living Will

After you’ve assigned medical power of attorney to someone, make a living will. This allows you to think through medical decisions ahead of time and put on paper how you would like to be cared for in various scenarios. A living will addresses what circumstances you would want to be kept alive under if the worst were to happen.

6. Create a Funeral Payment Plan

Funeral expenses can be a major burden on your loved ones. To help them out, set up a payable-on-death account with funds specifically designated for funeral and burial expenses.

7. Update Your Plan Regularly

Circumstances change. You may lose loved ones, gain children, or lose or gain income and assets. It’s important that you regularly review your estate plan and adjust it as needed. This will ensure your wishes are carried out with ease.

8. Make Arrangements for Assets

While some joint assets may automatically pass to a spouse in the event of your death, others may not. Make sure you know which assets this could apply to and make arrangements accordingly that will benefit both of you. Additionally, if you have children from a previous relationship and want them to receive some of your assets instead of all of it going to your surviving spouse, you would have to make a plan for that. Another common scenario that requires thought and planning is unmarried couples. Any assets you share but aren’t held jointly will not go to your partner unless your will or trust says so.

10 Essential Estate Planning Tips Everyone Should Know9. Store Your Documents Safely

Having all the right documents won’t do you any good if they go missing. Make sure you have a reliable system in place for all of your relevant estate planning documents so they can be easily accessed by your attorney and/or executor upon your death. When you create an estate plan with us, we provide both physical and digital storage of documents. You get a well-organized binder with all of your documents and important information to put in a safe place at home, as well as a secure digital vault.

10. Trust the Experts with Your Estate Planning Questions

Perhaps the most important estate planning tip everyone should know is you should never do it alone. If you’re in the Mesa, Arizona area, there’s no one better to talk to about estate planning than Dana and Associates. Our law firm makes estate planning easy and stress-free.

To get started, schedule your free personal estate planning session today!