Nobody really likes to talk about death, much less plan for it. But it happens, and you need to prepare for when it does.
Follow the estate planning tips below to make sure you are prepared for the inevitable.
1. Establish a Will
The first step to planning your estate is establishing a Last Will and Testament.
A will establishes where you want your assets to go after you pass. If you don’t have one, then the state will divide your assets up according to the law.
You can also cover any areas of your life that are unique to you. These items can include any charity donations, college funds, naming a guardian for your children, and even making provisions for your pets.
2. Assign Financial Power of Attorney
When it comes to money, it can be hard to find somebody to do the things you wish for without twisting it to suit them.
A financial power of attorney will have complete control over your money once it is time to distribute your estate.
You can name any family member or friend to do this. You can also hire an estate planning attorney to handle this process for you.
3. Create a Trust
One of the unknown processes of carrying out a will is the probate process. Probate can be time consuming and costly. When you establish a trust, you can bypass steps in the probate process.
During your lifetime, you can deem yourself as the trustee, so you maintain control of your assets. But once you pass, the trustee then becomes whoever you named as beneficiaries.
4. Health Care Directives
Do you have a plan for if you become too ill to make decisions for yourself?
At the end of our lives, we can become incapable of making our own decisions. If you have a plan you want to enact when this happens you should create a health care directive.
With this, you give someone power of medical attorney to execute your wishes, so you get the end-of-life treatment that you want.
5. Plan for Taxes
Many estates beneficiaries won’t owe taxes. But for the ones that do, you need to plan for how your recipients will handle the taxes involved.
If you aren’t 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 isn’t a huge bill when they inherit your estate.
Contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates to Help Plan Your Estate Today!
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Use these estate planning tips and come in for a consult today! Doing this now means your loved ones won’t be scrambling to figure out what to do later.
Do you need somebody to talk to about planning your estate? Call Brian M. Douglas & Associates, LLC at 770-933-9009 to learn how we can help.