Nobody really likes to talk about disability of death, much less plan for it. But life is uncertain, and you need to be prepared for unplanned events.
Follow the estate planning tips below to make sure you are prepared for the inevitable.
- Establish a Will
The first step to planning your estate is establishing a Last Will and Testament.
A Will provides instructions for where you want your assets to go after you pass and who will make sure your instructions are followed. If you do not have a Will, the state will divide your assets according to the law, not your wishes.
- Prepare a Financial Power of Attorney
When it comes to guarding your financial affairs, it is important to have a trusted person designated to help you.
You can name any family member or friend to serve as your helper with real estate, insurance, banking and other personal financial matters.
- Create a Trust
One of the requirements for carrying out the instruction of a Will is the probate process. Probate is the court-supervised procedure for administering a Will and can be time-consuming and costly. A trust, on the other hand allows for the distribution of your property to your heirs without having to go through the probate process.
- Health Care Directives
Do you have a plan for your own care if you should become too ill to make decisions for yourself?
Many circumstances could result in your inability to make your own health care decisions. You should have a written plan in place to name the person you want to make health care decisions for you. You should have a plan you want to enact when this happens, you should create a health care directive now. A Medical Power of Attorney helps you to give someone power of medical attorney to execute your wishes, so you get the end-of-life treatment that you want.
- Plan for Taxes
Under current law, most states will not owe taxes. But for the ones that do, you need to plan how your family will handle the taxes involved.
If you are not careful, you could leave behind a tax burden that is hard to pay off. You can offset this by putting investments in tax-advantaged accounts, so there is no large bill when they inherit your estate.
When it comes to estate planning, many people believe that they can do it on their own. However, the process can be complex and is best left to the guidance provided by a skilled attorney. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact the Law Offices of Marilyn Garner today at 817-381-9292 for a free consultation to help plan your estate. The call will not cost you anything but could save you a lot of money, time and stress.