Estate planning is the legal process in which your assets are arranged for distribution in anticipation of your passing. This ensures your last wishes are met and your family and loved ones don’t fight over your estate.
When making an estate plan, you’ll likely have a lot of questions. Here’s what you may ask:
#1. When should I make an estate plan?
There is no right time to make an estate plan, yet, many people believe that the best way to make an estate plan is now. You can’t be entirely sure when you’ll die and even if that’s not going to happen till you’re much older, you may still need an estate plan for other reasons. For example, you may need a representative, called a power of attorney, whose job is to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated – which goes into your next question.
#2. What’s included in an estate plan?
The main purpose of your estate plan is to have your assets in place for your heirs. As such, you’ll have to include beneficiaries in your will. You’ll also need an executor of your estate to ensure your assets are kept safe during probate. And, as stated above, you’ll also include a power of attorney in your estate plan.
#3. When should I update my estate plan?
One estate plan isn’t often enough for people. You’ll likely renew your estate plan as you get older and life changes. Many people believe there are key moments in life that should cause an estate plan to be updated: marriage, divorce, health scare or childbirth.
#4. Should my heirs know about my estate plan?
Your estate plan is yours and yours alone, so it’s up to you to decide if your heirs should know what they’ll inherit. It is important to have your estate plan in a place where it can be retrieved when you die. However, any details in your estate plan don’t have to be discussed.
#5. Should I seek legal help?
Estate planning is a lengthy and confusing process. Many people struggle with the legal intricacies and, thus, have to seek legal help.