Top 5 things to consider for your own estate plan:
Priorities: Do you want to make sure that you and your spouse are comfortable in retirement? That may involve a trust and working closely with a financial advisor. Do you want to make sure that your children are taken care of after you’re gone? That would involve creating, or updating, your Last Will and Testament and also possibly considering different life insurance options. If you don’t want your assets to go to your family, would they go to a charity? Perhaps you want to do some research to so that you can name a charity that is important to you as a beneficiary.
Financial Assets: What financial assets do you have? People leave jobs, close accounts, change policies, etc., and you want to make sure that a) you know which assets you have so that you can properly include them in your estate plan and b) that you have your paperwork together in a safe place so that your Executor can more easily handle your estate. It is also a good idea to have a transfer on death (or payable on death) bank account. Many people create these and name their Executor as the beneficiary. That way, when you pass away, your Executor can access that account for things such as funeral expenses and does not have to wait for other accounts to go through probate, or for life insurance money to come in.
List of beneficiaries: Make sure you have a list of beneficiaries for any Last Will and Testament or Trust that you draft. You will need to know their contact information and, if they are under the age of 18, you will need to select someone to be a trustee of their inherited assets until they attain a certain age.
Policies: Life insurance? Is it whole or term? Disability insurance? Do you need it? are you beneficiaries set up correctly? While these assets do not need to be included in your Last Will and Testament if you have beneficiaries listed, you do need to make sure that you have listed the correct people, in the correct order (for example a primary beneficiary could be potentially followed by co-secondary beneficiaries, but you need to make sure that the documents are completed correctly.
Contact Professionals: If you just need estate planning documents done, you need an attorney. However, you may also want to consult with your financial advisor, your life insurance agent, and/or an accountant. Planning for the future includes planning for your retirement as well as your family’s financial security if you are no longer around to help support them.
Of course, there are many other things to consider in drafting your estate plan as well. These tips are just a good starting point.
Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Need help? Then you should contact the Law Offices of Keith Anthony at (860) 333-6455. Attorney Keith Anthony can help you navigate thru this process, step by step and is open to assist you.