Are you planning your very first estate plan? Estate planning is a process that allows you to set up instructions for your family and loved ones that detail how your estate should be handled after your passing. For starters, you could name people to benefit from your estate.
There are a lot of moving parts in an estate plan. You may need to be sure that you’ve considered everything important before you start drafting yours, so that you know they will accomplish your goals. Here are four big things to consider:
1. Do you want your heirs to know what to expect?
You don’t have to let family and friends know whether they’re set to inherit from your estate plans. However, it’s your right, as a testator, to inform whoever you wish about your estate plans.
For instance, you may wish to let your children know what each of them is expected to inherit after your passing. This could make it easier for them to plan out their future. However, you could also forgo mentioning your estate plans to avoid family drama.
2. Do you know who will make a good executor?
You’ll have to name an executor of the estate to handle any estate matters, such as asset distribution after you pass away. An executor is a big role and you should be sure you have the right person for it. You may want to consider the trustworthiness of the executor and whether they’re able to complete many timely duties after you pass away.
3. Should you use a trust to protect your heirs?
You have the option to make a trust when you plan your estate. A trust is a legal document that can help ensure assets are distributed timely and without issues to any beneficiaries. There are many kinds of trusts, such as charitable trusts, special needs trusts and pet trusts. You may need to be sure you understand the purpose of each kind of trust when making additional plans.
4. Do you understand your legal options?
Estate planning is a legally complex matter. It’s always wisest to reach out for legal help to ensure you’re making a sound estate plan that truly conforms to your family’s needs.