Estate planning can be stressful for people, especially if they are unfamiliar with the types of documents available and their benefits. Many individuals might find themselves putting off this somewhat intimidating task.
Thankfully, a few suggestions can help even the most inexperienced planner get started.
Keep it simple
An estate plan can involve many documents, depending on an individual’s situation. But it doesn’t have to.
Creating a will is the best starting point for entry-level estate planning. A last will and testament, as it’s also referred to, is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes regarding how they wish to distribute their property, funeral arrangements and more, when they pass away.
A will can name specific beneficiaries, such as a spouse or child, and what assets each will inherit. Assets can be specific items like cars, houses, investment portfolios, or anything with a monetary value.
Life insurance policies and trusts
Unfortunately, passing on property to a loved one after death is far from simple. Referred to as probate or estate administration, there are costs associated with managing the estate of an individual who has passed away. Such costs will come directly from a deceased individual’s estate, either in the direct form of money in a bank account or via asset liquidation.
Some people opt to purchase a life insurance policy or even establish a trust to help their surviving families financially after they pass away, rather than risking the leftover balance from their estate to support their children or loved ones.
Update the plan
Whether a person chooses to create a will or trust or any other type of estate planning document, it is vital to continuously review such documents. Life changes and so do beneficiaries, assets and many other aspects of life. A big pro about an estate plan is that it can always be modified.
Seek the help of a professional
Those with questions about other aspects associated with an estate plan are encouraged to reach out to an estate planning lawyer. An individual knowledgeable in this area of law can offer simple, effective suggestions on certain types of documents that could be beneficial for specific situations.