Estate Planning Process
Act Now to Start the Estate Planning Process
No one can predict the future. Leaving unanswered questions about how to settle your affairs after you are gone can be costly and time-consuming for those carrying out your wishes. Putting all your important answers into an estate plan with the right legal documents, leaves no doubt about your intentions and can make all the difference. Planning ahead will give you greater control, privacy, and security of your legacy.
Consider these milestones:
- Once you turn 18. Who will make legal, health or financial decisions for you if you can’t?
- Marriage, starting a family or adoption. Who will inherit your assets, care for your children, and support your surviving spouse if something happens to you?
- The purchase of a home or other real estate. How should this asset be handled upon your death? By Will or Trust?
- Opening an investment account. Who will your beneficiaries be and are they old enough to inherit? Do you need a Will, Trust, or other beneficiary designation?
- Birth of a grandchild. Does your old estate plan include your newest family members?
- Inheritance of assets or a new job that increases your wealth. What should you do with it?
- Divorce. Have you updated your estate plan and beneficiary designations?
- Retiring. How will you transition from accumulating wealth to tapping into those assets?Do you have enough?
- Senior living. Where do you want to live if you need assisted living or long-term care? How will you downsize? Who will pay your bills, manage your finances, or make health decisions on your behalf, if you are unable or unwilling?
- In your 70s and beyond. Who takes care of your surviving spouse upon your death? Is your estate plan ready to be executed when necessary?
- Desire to give charitably. How can you give the most efficiently to those you care about the most?