The goal of estate planning is minimizing or avoiding estate taxes while ensuring the financial well-being of your family. The essential checklist includes naming beneficiaries, executing estate planning forms, and naming assets. Other topics include guardianship for minor children and medical treatment planning. In addition, you should update your will and trust.
Creating a will
Creating a will is a legal document that details how your assets will be distributed to family members and loved ones after your death. It should be described so that your executor will have guidance on distributing your assets. It should include your financial information, contact information for your family members and closest friends, and the location of your property. Should you become incapacitated, it should also state what you want to be done with your organs.
Creating a will is essential for an estate planning attorney Sun City, AZ. If you need some legal guidance, many online will-writing programs can guide you through the process. Packaged will-writing programs will account for state and IRS requirements and walk you step-by-step through the process of creating a will. You can purchase a package will-writing program or download an estate attorney’s will-writing software for a simple will. A tax advisor can help you decide which route is best for your situation. Some states have high inheritance taxes. A tax advisor or an estate attorney can help you avoid or minimize these taxes.
Creating a trust
Creating an estate plan is a significant step in your planning process. You’ll want to include a list of assets, insurance policies, accounts, and your wishes for how you want your estate to be managed. You’ll also want to include copies of any promissory notes or agreements with creditors. These should be accompanied by a copy of the terms of the agreement or note. This will make it easier for your executor to manage your estate and keep your beneficiaries’ expectations realistic.
The first step in transferring your assets to your trust is naming the trustee. This will allow your trust to bypass probate. You’ll also need to make sure your property is listed on deeds. This is because names on deeds trump those in wills. For example, if you have joint ownership of a house, you may wish to name your trust as the current owner. The next step is to appoint successor trustees.
Name someone to make financial decisions for you.
In estate planning, you can name someone to make financial decisions if you become incapacitated. While this is a difficult task, it is essential to name someone you trust to carry out your wishes. You should name a primary agent and a backup to avoid the perception that you are favoring one family member over another. The document should also specify how these people must act.
There are many ways to appoint someone to make financial decisions for you. For a living trust, you can name someone as your executor, trustee, or successor trustee. However, many people find it difficult to appoint someone. If you are the type of person who cannot manage your finances, it is important to name someone with sufficient experience to oversee your assets. When you call someone your successor trustee in your estate planning, make sure they are knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Keeping a list of all your financial accounts
Keeping a list of all your financial and investment accounts is essential for estate planning. As technology has advanced, moving money between accounts and making bill payments online has become more accessible. Unfortunately, this makes it more difficult for your heirs to access the money they need. To make sure your heirs have everything they need, you should list all your financial accounts and update it once a year. In addition, ensure your account numbers and any log-ins or passwords for any of these accounts.
Keeping a list of all your financial and investment accounts will ensure your executor can quickly find your money and assets. An estate plan can also ensure that your assets are transferred without problems. On the other hand, if your executor cannot find the information on your list, it can lead to an expensive and heartbreaking family crisis. Organizing your financial and investment accounts is essential for your heirs’ peace of mind and will help them deal with the death of a loved one.
Adding non-tangible assets to your estate plan
Intangible assets can be a valuable part of your estate plan and a great way to leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you add these assets to your estate plan.
Intangible assets do not have monetary value but are essential to you and your family. An estate planning attorney can help you include these assets in your will or trust. Examples include letters to your children, photo books, cards, and family history and ancestry information. If you have many of these types of assets, you might want to add them to your estate plan.