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Estate planning is one of the things you know you should do, but it's always the one you keep putting off. It's understandable. Life's full of competing demands, and you're probably busy just living it.
While most people agree that estate planning is a crucial topic, many still find it an uncomfortable process to complete. Nobody wants to discuss the things that may happen at the time of their death. However, estate planning is much more than making funeral pre-arrangements.
Estate planning is a comprehensive process that will help protect you, your lifetime assets, and your loved ones. It involves the creation of documents to distribute your assets upon your death or to handle your affairs if incapacitated and unable to decide for yourself.
In addition, estate planning also includes financial and income protection, tax planning, and asset management. As you can see, most documents are difficult to understand and require professional help. That said, you may visit Willed or any estate planning solutions provider in your area.
Not sure where and how to get started? Read the list below to find out what critical estate planning steps you should take.
1. Inventory your stuff
At first, you may think you don't have much to assess. But once you begin looking around, you might be surprised by all the assets you have-both tangible and intangible. Tangible assets in estate planning may include:
After the inventory of your tangible and intangible assets, it's time to estimate their worth. For some of your assets, outside valuation techniques such as these may help:
If you don't have outside valuations, estimate the worth of your assets according to how you expect your beneficiaries will value them. This may help ensure that all your money and property will be equally distributed among those you love.
2. Account for your family's needs
Once you have a clear understanding of what your assets are, think about the protection and security of your family and your assets at the time of your death. You might need to:
3. Establish your directives
Directives are one of the crucial elements of a complete and well-devised estate plan. These include the following:
4. Review your beneficiaries
Your last will, as well as other legal devices, may broadcast your wishes. However, they're not all-embracing. This is why it's important to review and reassess all your beneficiaries before making everything final and executory:
5. Re-evaluate your estate plan
Life is in a constant state of motion, so it's only normal if it undergoes some changes. That said, you might as well make necessary changes and updates to your estate plan. These may involve:
Estate planning is a comprehensive life plan for everyone. You don't need to have a lot of property, be married, or reach your 50s before you start to draft a will and other directives. As much as possible, estate planning should start once a person turns eighteen.
Then, it's up to them to update their plan from time to time. Furthermore, if you need help, don't hesitate to call your lawyer right away and start building a complete estate plan.