A Practical Guide To Estate Planning

Creating an estate plan is an excellent way to make sure that all of your assets are protected during your lifetime, and that those assets are properly allocated to your heirs after you pass away. Here's a practical guide to estate planning that you can use to make sure that estate plan successfully comes into fruition:

Take Stock of Your Inventory

One of the first things you'll have to do when creating an estate plan for yourself is take stock of all your inventory. Everything that you own, small and large, should be considered an asset and a part of your overall estate. Start creating your inventory by making a list of all your assets including:

  • Homes and properties.

  • Vehicles.

  • Landscape equipment.

  • Jewelry.

  • Artwork.

  • Furniture.

  • Clothing.

Make sure to document the value of each asset you inventory. You should also make copies of all your bank and brokerage statements, as well as your retirement accounts, and add them to your inventory portfolio. It's a good idea to inventory the contents of any safe deposit boxes that you rent. Your insurance policies, warranty policies, and death insurance benefits should also be included in your inventory portfolio.

Create a Solid Estate Plan

Once all of your assets are inventoried and you have a clear idea of the value of your assets, both individually and as a whole, you should determine how your affairs should be handled after you pass away. Your estate planning lawyer can help you figure out:

  • What part of your estate should be allocated to specific heirs.

  • Who will care for any minor children or pets that you leave behind.

  • Who will be responsible for making sure that your assets are properly distributed.

And if you are no longer able to manage your own estate for some reason in the future, who will be responsible for managing your finances? And who will oversee your chosen estate executive? Your lawyer can help you answer these questions and more to ensure that you're prepared for any situation that arises in the future which may affect your estate in some way.

Put the Plan Into Action

The last thing you'll need to do to put your estate plan into action is set up a trust, fund it if necessary, and decide when your legal agreements will start to take effect. You will also have to make sure that your beneficiaries are properly listed on your bank accounts and financial portfolios where required.

And you will also have to retitle any assets that you want included in your trust to ensure that they're reallocated to the correct heirs after your passing. Luckily, you can count on your estate planning attorney to do most of the legwork for you – but it's important to participate in all of the actions if possible so you know exactly what's going on at all times. Use resources like https://www.linskylaw.com to guide you in finding representation.