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Estate planning may not seem of essence now, but it is a crucial element in securing your family’s future. Death is inevitable and unplanned. It can occur at any point leaving your family with no breadwinner. As a responsible parent, it is essential to map out your family’s future.
One way you can achieve this is through estate planning. Proper estate planning helps avoid conflict, and legal battles after a loved one’s demise. This article will guide you on the key steps to take when planning your estate.
Visualize Your Plan
Before you embark on drafting your plan, you need to think of what you need to do. Most people often have wishes they want to be fulfilled upon their passing. Think of your estate; who can manage it in your absence? Who can make critical decisions on your behalf?
Having these questions makes it easier to create your estate plan.
Create Your Plan
An essential document that forms part of your estate plan is your will. A will is a legally binding document that outlines your final wishes. A will states how you would want your wealth to be distributed among your family.
If your financial situation is straightforward, a simple will is enough. For instance, you can have a simple will if you have one successor above the age of 18 years and a few assets. However, the plan becomes more complex if you have numerous assets and minors as successors.
In the absence of a will, some states allow for intestacy rules QLD. Find out whether your state has the following provision. Although, it is best always to have a written will outlining your wishes.
If you have children under 18, you need to find a suitable guardian to take care of them. You may have to set up a trust for your children. You need to appoint a trustee to pay for your child’s expenses until they attain the age of 18 years.
A trust is also applicable to an individual with special needs. For example, you can set up a trust for them to avoid compromising governmental assistance such as social security or Medicaid.
You can also consider including powers of attorney as part of your estate planning. Power of attorney helps you transfer powers to someone else if you are unable to make decisions. This primarily applies in cases of incapacitation from severe illness. For example, you can appoint someone to manage your finances, make health decisions or ensure the implementation of your living will.
Store Your Documents
After creating and documenting your plan, the next step is to ensure their safe storage. You can use a safe-deposit box or a safe that is fire and waterproof. Ensure your lawyer and attorney can access the documents upon your demise.
It is also best to have a digital copy of the original documents in case of fire or water damage.
Talk to Your Family
To avoid future conflict, it is best to talk to your family about your final wishes. Most people opt for contesting wills after the demise of a loved one. Informing them early in advance helps quell the conflict.
Your estate plan is not rigid. It should change as your living situation changes as well. It would be best to appoint an attorney to help you maneuver through the legal intricacies involved in estate planning.