The rule of estate planning is simple: if you own assets of any form, then you should establish documents that protect what you have gained over a lifetime. But keep in mind that estate planning is not just for older generations or the ultra wealthy, it’s an essential component of having a financial plan for the future. Here an estate planning lawyer shares some estate planning tips to help prepare you and your family for the years to come.
You may be asking yourself why you even need an estate plan. Essentially, estate plans consist of everything that you own, from your bank accounts to your car, properties, life insurance, personal possessions, and so much more. So no matter how modest or large your assets are, everyone has something that they want to give to friends and families that they care about the most. You can’t take your money or other items with you when you die, so where will they go? This is where estate planning comes into effect, as it provides instructions for to whom and how much you want assets to be distributed after you have passed on.
The first step in writing an estate plan is getting a clear idea of everything that you own. You’re going to need to take an inventory of your estate. For instance, make a list of all of your tangible and intangible assets, such as financial accounts to vehicles, and sentimental items. Even if some of your belongings are not highly valuable monetarily, if they mean something special to you, then you choose someone to inherit it after you die. Of course, no one enjoys thinking about their death, but it’s just part of life and you can rest easier knowing your legacy is protected and will be distributed to future generations of people and charity organizations you care about the most.
Because estate planning can seem like an overwhelming task, many people get help from a law firm, as the Law Group of Iowa encourages people to do so. In this way, they have a resource and someone to turn to for questions and concerns related to their estate plan. Chances are, you will come across confusions and will need clarity so that you can make sure your documents are as legally binding as possible. Simply leaving behind a casual note about where your assets are located and to whom you want to give them may not be enough to stand in court. By recruiting help from legal professionals who understand estate law, it can make the difference between a smooth distribution of wealth and unexpected issues arising as your family is going through their grief.
Don’t forget that estate plans are not just for those with a substantial amount of wealth. If you own anything that is of special value to you, monetarily or not, then you will need to protect these through an estate plan. Most people find that devising an estate plan is more than worth it, as they can rest easier knowing their affairs will be taken care of when their time comes to depart.