No one wants to think about a time when they won’t be there for their family. Yet the fact is, no one’s time on this earth is indefinite. In addition to the natural progression of age, there are any number of accidents that could happen without warning. It is important to protect your children and family members from undue strife in the event you are no longer here. Estate planning allows you to plan for the future to care for your children, spouse, and family when the time comes.
When You Should Do Estate Planning
Estate planning is something that should be done by all new parents. It should also be updated periodically as your assets change. If you have never done estate planning and you have assets, children, or possessions that you want to be sure of where they go, you will need to make sure that you engage in estate planning as quickly as possible. If you are retired, recently purchased your home, came into some money such as an inheritance, or discover severe health issues, these are also common reasons to begin estate planning in earnest.
What is Estate Planning
Estate planning is about more than just drafting a will. The last will and testament is of course important, especially if you have children. This document will dictate how your assets are divided, who is to take custody of your children if they are minors when you pass, and your final wishes. However, there is more to estate planning than this document.
Estate planning also involves additional measures such as trusts and other instruments that can help keep your estate out of probate. It is much easier for your surviving family members to take possession of your property and assets if you plan accordingly in advance. If estate planning is not done properly, even with a will your estate could be in probate for months before your family sees a dime.
Estate planning can also include planning for final expenses, such as getting life insurance and setting up beneficiaries, buying burial plans, or buying burial lots. In short, estate planning encompasses everything that needs to be addressed when you are no longer here to take care of your family.
Hiring an Attorney
There are a lot of kits available online to draft your own will, but this is generally not recommended. To be truly effective, estate planning needs to be done with the aid of a well versed estate and probate lawyer. This will ensure that your estate is handled effectively when you are no longer here to direct it. A good attorney will also be a wise choice for executor of your estate to make sure that all is as it should be. If you need to start thinking about estate planning, contact an attorney today to get started.