If you have yet to set the steps to security in motion, here are 6 things our estate planning attorneys suggest that you consider as you get started along the path to securing an estate plan that is uniquely your own.
1. Have a healthcare plan.
Are you religious? Are there any certain procedures or burial arrangements that would be offensive to you spiritually? Have you made a plan that is legally enforceable… or are you simply hoping that others follow suit with what you have written? Likewise, is there someone in your family or friend circle that you trust to make decisions for you? Knowing these things can relieve a huge burden in the future.
2. Do not ignore your family dynamics.
Even if your family has a strong bond, trust administration will bring out the worst in the best of us. This is especially true if multi people are sharing responsibility. Give this some serious thought before you seal your trust administration issue and consider leaving very specific instructions that will limit the amount of family members involved in the process.
3. Have a pet plan.
What will happen to your beloved pet when you pass on? Did you know that a pet trust is a real option? Seeing as how many people have pets that are closer than family, they are often surprised and relieved to learn that they do not have to worry about their beloved pets when they pass on.
4. Keep up with changing laws.
Tax and probate laws are constantly changing. If your plan is not up to date, it can cost you and your family a hefty amount in taxes. It can even cause you to have to deal with costly probate proceedings. Trust us when we say that no one wants that, so be sure to know your laws and keep up with them as they grow and change.
5. Make sure to include life cycle events.
Remember, your trust is basically alive. This simply means that anything that has taken place in life will need to be a portion of your estate planning at some point. Marriage and death certificates, birth certificates and even divorce certificates. Have the documents that you need to coincide with your plan. To make sure that your wishes are carried out to a tee, these need to be current.
6. Update out-of-date accounts.
Even if your estate plan is up to date, that does not mean that your financial arrangements are. You will need to be sure that everything is current. This may include a change of beneficiaries or other life cycle events.
While no one likes to think about estate planning, it is a necessary part of being an adult. Whether you’re entering your golden age, or just starting a family, our estate planning attorneys can’t stress enough how important it is to set forth a plan for your estate.