Did you know that probate is estimated to cost American families more than $2 billion a year? No matter where you are in your life story, estate planning should be a consideration for your personal affairs.
Estate planning isn’t just about high-value homeowners or families with considerable assets but about managing your affairs. Regardless of your age, take the steps to plan your estate while you have the capacity to do so.
A good estate attorney properly manages your estate on your behalf, but there are six key components of estate planning you should never overlook.
1. Advance Health Care Directive
Although it is never something you expect, prepare for an accident or tragic situation in case it does happen. An experienced estate attorney helps you with a health care directive which always has two parts. Don’t overlook documenting your end-of-life medical care wishes and also designate a health care power of attorney when you cannot make your own decisions.
Just like your health insurance or car insurance premiums, hopefully, your advance health care directive is something you think about once in a blue moon but is still in place as needed.
2. Financial Power of Attorney
Designate a Financial Power of Attorney for financial decision making in case you aren’t able to do so. This person you designate is able to manage assets in your name, although there are type types of financial power, one is a durable power of attorney and the second is a springing power of attorney. As your lawyer for the right recommendation.
3. Last Will and Testament
Leave detail instructions about the distribution of your property should you die. For parents, a last will and testament includes instruction for your minor children. Never overlook the importance of a last will and testament for your property distribution.
A qualified attorney makes sure you get parts including a title, declaration, name of the executor, name of guardian, details of beneficiaries, details about assets, bequests, funeral arrangement, and signatures.
4. Beneficiary Designations
Have you heard of probate? This is the official proving of a will and when you haven’t properly prepared your estate, it won’t need to go through probate. A beneficiary designation on all of your assets, including your retirement accounts and even your life insurance.
Just remember when you talk to any company managing your assets to ask if a beneficiary has been designated in the event of your death. An estate planning professional can help you leave no stone unturned concerning your beneficiary.
5. Joint Ownership
When it comes to joint ownership although a shared asset pretty much goes to the remaining owner upon the death of one person. It is typical for this to not go through probate if properly established in your last will and testament.
Visit an estate attorney with the person you own property within order to tighten up your estate plan. Just as you consider your loved ones in all big decisions, bring your partner to estate attorney appointments!
6. Living Trust
Protect assets from getting tied up in probate with a living trust. An attorney puts property in a trust and helps you avoid probate because it is clearly designated for inheritance or passing through the living trust. Trusts get quite sophisticated, from including a child with special needs in your wishes to minimizing estate taxes for higher net worth families, always draft them with the help of an estate attorney.
Make sure the assets you generated in your lifetime are properly allocated among people you love most. Get the best legal outcome with the help of an estate attorney. A true professional considers every component of estate planning for your specific situation.