Let’s face the truth, a lot of people don’t feel comfortable talking about estate planning and its process. Do you think the reason is? Well, people don’t feel pleased talking about their death and formalities to be done after their demise. Undoubtedly, it is crucial and hard-to-digest, but at the same time, one needs to undergo this process to safeguard one family.
This calls for drafting a thorough and legalized plan of action containing all the steps regarding distributing the property and assets. Be it the financial or healthcare power of attorney, an estate plan process involves everything.
Estate Planning, a Process for a Lifetime
Estate planning is a detailed process of preparing the documents required for transferring the person’s assets to any other family member after their death. Some of the commonly included assets are – real estate properties, pensions, life insurance plans, expensive personal belongings, cars, funds, and much more. No matter when and how you initiate the process of estate planning for yourself and your family, you will need to join hands with an attorney handling such issues.
If not prepared in the proper manner, estate planning can lead to many poor consequences in life. When talking about estate planning, it is often correlated with the property only. But when you wake up to the realities of this process, you will realize the number of elements involved in this process.
Estate planning is more than just talking about the wealth and distributing it among the other family members. It is also about getting rid of the emotional burden and financial dependencies on an individual. If you have been finding reasons to initiate your estate planning process, consider it a high time and get started.
But before you step towards the thorough planning and process, let’s discuss some of the everyday hacks that help you convert your estate planning into a successful one. There are many factors to consider, from exchanging the details to hiring a reliable estate planning attorney for your case.
Tip 1: Gather a Team
If you think you alone can handle the multiple matters and complications of the estate planning process, you are wrong. You need to have a full-fledged team by your side to help you sail through the process. As it is a legal process, you need to hire an estate planning attorney, tax professional, financial planner or advisor, etc., to customize a comprehensive estate planning process for you. Each one of these will help you understand the necessary procedures and formalities of their respective departments. Here, the only goal is to make the proper use of the estate, plan and distribute it wisely. There is no such predefined time duration of the estate planning process. It entirely depends on the complexity of the case, the people involved in the process, and the estate management and planning process.
Tip 2: Make a List of Your Wishes
Life is unpredictable; therefore, start making a list of all the wishes and decisions you have in your mind. Such wish lists help to simplify the estate planning process for the attorneys and other professionals associated with the process. The estate plan should narrate your decisions. Generally, this wish list works as conclusive evidence supporting the estate planning process effectively.
When preparing a wish list or estate plan for the process, make sure to consider the following –
- Reliable financial power of attorney – This is important to determine the individual who will be responsible for the economic decisions to be taken in the future.
- Healthcare power of attorney – It is to assign an individual the responsibility of taking all the health-oriented decisions when you cannot do it for yourself. Generally, this individual is someone from the family.
- Last will – It permits you to designate the estate’s beneficiaries and ensure reliable guardians for minor children in the family.
- A living will – This is mandatory to deliver crystal clear instructions regarding the ongoing treatment, especially when you cannot speak or convey your thoughts.
Tip 3: Assign Guardianship for Family Members
Assigning guardianship to an individual is a vital part of estate planning. This is important to give an individual the responsibility to dependents in the family-like aged individuals or minor children. If you are assigning someone the guardianship of your family members after your demise, you must have a word with the chosen person and seek consent on a prior basis. If the selected person refuses to accept the responsibilities, you cannot impose guardianship rights anymore.
A pro tip – Avoid assigning a couple the responsibility of guardianship to lead to some tricky situations in the future. One of the most prominent examples is a divorce where the responsibility divides, creating several issues for the dependents. It is advisable to seek sound suggestions from your estate planning attorney to the earliest possible in such situations. The lawyer can assist you in getting out of such clumsy cases via documentation processes. All you need is to initiate the process as soon as possible.
You can seek all these perks and legal assistance at its best when joining hands with a reliable and experienced lawyer.
So, what is the primary concern in estate planning?
People who neglect estate planning processes often get in the poor consequences of property disputes or forceful ownership of the estate and funds. This can act as significant trouble for the family members. Therefore, one must initiate this process of estate planning to the earliest.
The Bottom Line
Estate planning is something that almost everyone goes through at least once in their lifetime. It is an essential process encompassing the legal formalities of handing over the estate to the next generation or someone else in the family. The process contains and requires a lot of detailing and paperwork, requiring joining hands with an experienced estate planning attorney giving sound advice on estate management and planning.