If you have a family or loved ones and assets that will be left behind when you pass, now is a good time to start planning your estate. Many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning because the process seems daunting. While it can be complicated, particularly if you have complex financial arrangements, getting it behind you will provide you with a sense of peace that lets you focus on spending time with loved ones instead of worrying about their future. Here are some good tips to help you stop procrastinating and start planning.
- Give yourself a timeframe – Unless you set a goal, you might end up reading a few articles and then push the whole matter to the backburner. It may take 6 months to a year to handle everything, so set up a solid deadline to work with. If it helps, you can also send reminders and reward yourself when you’ve completed the process.
- Go to a seminar – Look up an estate-planning seminar near you and add it to your calendar. If you’re new to the process, these seminars provide a lot of the information you’ll need to get started. Attorneys who work in estate planning organize many of these events, and there may also be a question and answer session afterward to help you get started.
- Start working on your finances – This part may take a while if you have several assets to list. This information will be the basis of your will and other estate-planning documents. List all of your assets, their current market value, and any debts you are servicing against them. If they have paperwork like deeds, certificates of authenticity, or other information, collect all of the documents in one centralized file. Assets you may include could be anything from an antique hobby collection, life insurance policies, financial assets, real estate and physical property to jewelry.
- List the people you want to include – Your will should include specific information about the people, pets, and organizations you want to leave your assets to when you are no longer in control of them. You must include current addresses, full legal names, birthdates, and other information to get started. You may want to leave specific instructions regarding the dissemination of your assets, too.
- Consider who you want to leave in control – Your estate will need an individual who is responsible for ensuring the terms of your plan are carried out appropriately. In addition to control of a trust or will, you may also want to consider who you would like to make health-related decisions on your behalf.
All of this information is fairly broad, but it covers the basics of what most individuals consider when beginning the process of estate planning. To ensure your documents are legally binding and that you have clearly written the content for proper interpretation, you will need the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Erney Law, estate planning lawyers in Columbus, Ohio, are ready to start planning your estate today. You never know when something unexpected may happen. Let us help you prepare for it.