Unless you are a professional estate planning attorney, you probably have not spent much time thinking about how your estate will be handled when you pass away or become incapacitated. And yet, this is something that essentially everyone will need or should need to do. If estate planning is probably coming up in your near-future, take a look at these smart tips everyone should know about it.
- Sooner than later: First of all, you should really start taking estate planning seriously sooner rather than later. The moment you come into a sizeable estate or start a family is the moment you should consider what will happen with your assets and property when you can no longer care for yourself. Starting soon can really help everyone avoid complications later on.
- Will or trust: Do you need a will to distribute your assets? Or would a trust work just the same and help your loved ones avoid probate? Talk to an estate planning lawyer about the differences and determine what is right for you.
- Healthcare directive: Most people begin to lose mental and physical capacity as they age. To avoid making your loved ones have to guess what you would have preferred when it comes to your medical treatments, use a healthcare directive to tell them specifically in advance.
- Children’s property: If you have decided to give money or property to minor children who legally cannot manage it for themselves, be sure to name an adult you trust who can do it for them. If you have named a personal legal guardian in your will for your children, you can probably save time and troubles by assigning management rights to them as well.
- Say it clearly: When you are stating who should inherit what, why, and for what purpose, use the clearest language possible. Any room for guessing is room for a mistake. You may want to review your will and trusts a few times with your attorney to make certain your wishes are well represented.
- Minimize estate taxes: A shockingly large amount of your estate can be swept away by estate taxes. To minimize how much is removed from your estate and given to the uncle you didn’t know you had – Uncle Sam – you should talk to your lawyer about how to legally avoid estate taxes.
- Don’t forget your funeral: As grim as it may sound, it is important that you do not forget about the cost of your funeral and burial expenses. Setting up a payable-on-death account with your bank is a good way to slowly build up the funds that will be required.
The last tip might be the most crucial to the success of your estate plan: hire an estate planning attorney. At Adams Law Firm, our Katy estate planning lawyers are capable of handling your will, trust, asset distribution, and the like with confidence and compassion. We want to do everything in our power to ensure you know that your loved ones will be comfortable after you are gone. Contact us online and we can discuss how we can make your life easier by assisting you with estate planning.