Estate planning does not have to be complicated. If you address the following four key topics in your estate plan, you will have a comprehensive estate plan that will serve you and your family both during your lifetime and after you pass away.
Estate planning, like all other things in life, tends to work best when people put first things first. Take some time to become clear about your priorities before you begin estate planning. Once you have identified your priorities, talk with your estate planning attorney about how those priorities translate into estate planning goals. Your estate planning attorney can then help you create the estate planning documents that you will need to make an estate plan that meets your estate planning goals.
Your family structure is a key consideration in estate planning. Consider both your needs as well as the needs of your spouse if you are married. Think about what each of you may need later on in life as you grow older. If you have any young children, it is critical that you include guardianship planning in your estate plan. Children with special needs can be well served by an estate plan that considers what care, support, and services they will need at each stage in their life. You may have others in your family that you care for, such as parents, grandchildren, or siblings. Think about how you would like your estate plan to address the present and future needs of the people who are most important to you.
Fiduciaries are another crucial consideration for estate planning. Fiduciaries include your executor, anyone you would choose to serve as your agent on a financial or health care power of attorney, and the trustees that you would want for any trusts that are in your estate plan. It is wise to take the time to think very carefully about whom you would choose as the primary and alternate for each fiduciary role. It is also essential that you consult with the people that you would like to include as fiduciaries in your estate plan to ensure that they are up to the task.
Assets are, of course, a crucial component of your estate plan, so you’ll want to be thorough and diligent in compiling a list of all of your assets. If you have retirement plans as assets, make sure you understand how they work and what rules your beneficiaries will be subject to when they inherit them. Make sure that you have a clear picture of what you own and the fair market value of each of your assets before you consult with your estate planning attorney and decide how you will address each asset in your estate plan.
Now that you have thought about the four key areas of estate planning, it’s time to get started on making your estate plan. Wichita estate planning attorney J. Joseph Weber is here to assist you. Call us to make your appointment today at 316-265-7802, or contact us online.