Estate planning is a topic people, especially young men and women, tend to avoid. This lack of interest is understandable simply because no one loves to talk about end-of-life planning. No one enjoys thinking about their mortality. However, it doesn’t matter how unpleasant it is, planning your estate is important for you and your family members.
Even if you are a young, healthy, and fit person, that doesn’t mean something bad can’t happen to you. People get sick or injured when they least expect it. There are no certainties when it comes to health. This is something a lot of people have come to realize in 2023, due to the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic. No one is invincible and no one is immortal.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your estate is, you have to be prepared for the unfortunate situations you might experience in the future. A good estate plan helps you protect your assets and your family members in case you die or become incapacitated.
If you don’t have an estate plan, here are the most important things you have to know about this process.
What Is Probate?
For someone who is new to estate planning, probate can be a confusing concept. That’s why we’ll try to break it down.
Probate is a term that describes the process the court uses when settling the estate of a deceased person. The estate distribution process can take a long time to complete and the expenses associated with it can, in some cases, be overwhelming.
It’s safe to say that this is a complicated and expensive process. That’s why estate planning is so important. A good estate plan can shorten the probate period a lot. This can save you a considerable amount of money.
Here are the crucial aspects of estate planning you have to consider.
Writing a will is usually the very first step when it comes to estate planning. Determining the person you want to be in charge of your assets is simple, but writing a will is not. A will is a complicated legal document and you should consult an attorney. For example, attorneys at AtlantaEstateLawCenter.com can answer all of your questions regarding the will and help you to plan your estate properly. Consulting an attorney will eliminate the risk of mistakes and it will help you to write your will as soon as possible.
The will itself doesn’t represent the whole estate plan. However, it serves as a guide to your final wishes. It helps the court to see to whom you are leaving your assets after your death. The properly-written will makes the probate process simpler and it saves you some money because you won’t have to pay certain fees.
Name The Beneficiaries Of Your Financial Assets
When it comes to your financial assets, you should name the person or persons who will inherit them. This way, the institution that holds your assets will know who gets the funds in case you die. If you name the beneficiary, you will be able to avoid probate. As we mentioned before, this will save you a lot of time and money.
Have A Clear Goal You Want To Achieve
Planning your estate requires responsibility and good organization skills. Your attorney can help you with most of the things, but they can’t help you set your goals. This is something you have to do all by yourself.
Ask yourself this – do you want to protect your assets, prepare for incapacity, or take control of your legacy?
It’s important to know exactly what you are trying to achieve. This way, you will make your and your attorney’s life easier.
Make Sure You List All Of The Assets You Want In Your Estate Plan
Some people tend to include only the most valuable assets in their estate plan. For example, their house or their car. They assume everything else is implied. Well, this is a mistake you want to avoid.
If you want to protect your assets and make sure your family members get them when you die, you need to include all of the money and property you have. This is the only way for you to make a perfect estate plan and not worry about who might end up claiming your property.
Select The Loved Ones You Want To Protect
Choosing the loved ones you want to protect may seem easy and simple, but it’s not. Every single one of those people has their own specific needs and requests. You can’t include them all in your estate plan, which means you will have to make some hard decisions.
There are a lot of things you have to consider. Not everything in your estate plan has to do with money or property. For example, if you have minor kids, you will have to assign them a guardian if you die or get incapacitated. This is a very important decision, therefore make sure to think it through.
You Can Donate To A Charity
Once you take care of your spouse, kids, and family members, you have an option to donate your financial assets to a charity. This can be any kind of charity, of course. It’s your choice. Therefore, if there is a charity you supported throughout your life, you can leave them some of your assets.
Including a charity in your estate plan is a very noble and admirable thing to do. However, make sure to consult your attorney before doing this. You don’t want someone to take advantage of your goodwill.
Making an estate plan is one of the most important things you have to do in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are young, old, ill, or in good health, you simply must be prepared for unpleasant scenarios.
Life can be very unpredictable and if you want to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones, you need to make a good estate plan. It’s a responsible thing to do, especially if you have a family.