Having an estate plan is more important than you think, especially if you have children. Learn more from the experts at First Entertainment Credit Union.
Do You Need An Estate Plan?
In a word, yes! While most people don’t think they have enough assets to develop an estate plan, the truth is that everyone should have a plan if they want to control how things are handled after death, particularly if they have minor children. An estate plan also helps avoid probate court, offers more privacy for your heirs than a will, can minimize taxes, and can speed up the settlement of your estate.
Here are some important tips that you should consider when developing your estate plan:
Tip #1: Your Plan Should Include a Will
Work with a legal professional to create a will that details your wishes regarding the distribution of your property, money, and assets. A will should appoint an executor who carries out your documented wishes. If you have children, you should also designate a guardian and trustee to take care of your child and their finances until they become adults. If you do not make these selections, the court will make them for you, so it’s better for you to make these decisions. And remember to include your pets in your will.
Tip #2: Develop an Inventory of Your Assets
You should make a detailed list of your assets, their approximate value, and who you want to receive each asset. Your inventory should include homes, other real estate, vehicles, boats, collectibles, savings accounts, investment accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and ownership in a company. You may also want to include a trust in your estate plan to preserve valuable assets. Your plan will help avoid serious family dissension and costly probate proceedings that could be incurred without a plan.
Tip #3: Establish Directives
You will want to include legal directives such as a power of attorney, medical care wishes, any post-death instructions, and trust documents in your plan. A power of attorney is a critical decision, so make sure you choose someone you trust.
Tip #4: Keep Your Plan Updated
After developing your estate plan, one thing to remember is not to ‘set it and forget it.’ You should review your plan on a regular basis. As your life changes, your estate plan should reflect those changes too. Make any updates to your beneficiaries, executor, power of attorney, and trustees. And, if you have any life changes such as a divorce, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, or a marriage, you will want to make changes to your plan.
Tip #5: Work With Legal and Financial Professionals
It’s important to work with professionals who are experts in estate planning, as well as people you can trust. First Entertainment will work with your legal and tax advisors to ensure your estate plan reflects your wishes and contains the necessary documents.
Schedule a Meeting to Develop an Estate Plan Today!
Please give us a call so that we can help you get started on this vital component of your financial plan.
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