Did you know that less than half of the adults in the United States have a will? This lack of an estate plan is disturbing for a lot of reasons.
If something happens to you, you need to make sure that your wishes are carried out and your family is provided for. Proper estate planning is vital for achieving this.
In this article, we’ll briefly go over how to make an estate plan. That way, you can rest easy at night knowing that everything will be taken care of in the event of the unexpected.
Gather Everything You’ll Need
Before you even get started you need to list all of your assets. This is anything that contributes to your net worth.
This includes real estate, vehicles, checking/savings accounts, retirement/investment accounts, stocks, bonds, and any businesses you own.
If you have antiques, jewelry, or other valuable possession, this can also be included. Once you get an estimate of your assets gather some important documents. Look for things like:
- Housing deeds
- Life insurance policies
- Vehicle titles
- Marriage license
- Divorce papers
- Military discharge papers
- Business agreements
If these documents are online, make sure you write down any passwords associated with them.
Talk to Your Family
A big part of estate planning is determining who will execute your will and serve as power of attorney. When it comes to estate planning there should be no confusion within your family.
It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, or have kids, you still need to discuss the estate plan with your family. If you are single, discuss the issue with your other family members.
If you’re married, talk about it with your wife. For parents with kids, talk to potential guardians. Communication is vital with this type of planning. You don’t want to take anyone by surprise.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer
In some cases, this step may not be necessary. If you’re single, have a fairly straightforward family situation, and a small estate, you can usually handle it yourself. All you need to do is find an online will maker.
But, if you have a large estate or you’re worried about your family, then it’s time to contact an estate planning lawyer. With an estate planning law firm you can begin coordinating what will be involved in your estate plan.
Many people think that estate planning just involves a will. While it’s true that this is a crucial part, it’s a combination of several documents. This estate planning checklist includes:
- Living trust
- Power of attorney
- Living will
- Umbrella insurance
Depending on your specific situation, your lawyer might suggest all, some, or none of these estate planning documents.
Appreciate Learning How to Make an Estate Plan? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn how to make an estate plan. No one likes to think about getting sick or dying.
But, being proactive and realistic about the situation is the only way to ensure that your legacy is taken care of.
So, contact an estate planning lawyer today. We hope you found this guide informative. Keep exploring to learn more about subjects like this on our website.