A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. A critical component to one’s financial strategy is their estate planning. It’s not the most comfortable and in some instances exciting area to deal with, but it has far reaching implications for one and one’s family. The following contributed post is entitled, Major Keys For Estate Planning.
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Estate planning is not just for the rich and famous. A well-thought-out estate plan can help alleviate stress from your family members when you have reached the end of your life. It can help get your affairs in order so that you can have the peace of mind knowing that your family is secure after you pass on. If you are looking to start estate planning, here are some major keys that will help you along the process.
Get Together A Team
Get a team of people that consists of your key financial advisor, your tax professional and your estate planning attorney from Wyolaw Law Firm. This team of very important people will help you draw up and navigate the perfect estate plan just for you. It may seem like having all these people involved will make things confusing, but quite the opposite. These people will ensure that all your assets will be given out to the appropriate people with little to no confusion.
Write Down Your Will
A part of every estate planning is writing down your wishes. This is not a sentimental exercise. This is a binding agreement, so make sure that you clearly list out all your wishes. Make plain how you would like to handle your probate assets and other possessions. It should include a healthcare power of attorney or proxy, a durable financial power of attorney, a living will, a health insurance portability and accountability act release form, and your last will and testament.
These things will assign the person who you want to make health decisions for you, who will make the financial decisions for you, what treatments you do and do not want if you are unable to speak for yourself, who can have access to your health records, who are the designated beneficiaries of your property and who will be the guardians for your children who are minors.
Set Up Guardianship For Minors
If you are caring for any minors, this is a very important step if you do not want the state to decide what to do with them. Determine who you want to look after your children or if you take care of someone with special needs. Before you give off that person’s name, make sure you consult with them first. You need their permission. Keep in mind that this person will also be managing any money you allocate for your child’s benefit.
Think About Getting A Trust
A trust is just a place that holds money for your children. You get to have a say in what goes into the trust, who has access to it, and how it will be allocated. As long as you execute it well, your estate plan will be executed just the way you intended.
Prepare For State And Federal Taxes
Find out if your estate will be subjected to state and federal taxes. If so, you will likely have to pay in cash up to nine months after your death. Some people’s assets are not in cash, which could cause some issues. If that is the case for you, you may have to sell your assets. Talking to an estate planning attorney can help clear this up.