Estate planning is an important process that everyone should think about sooner rather than later. However, many people avoid the topic because they’re just not sure where to start, but planning ahead can help your loved ones avoid conflicts, or even estate litigation. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with 5 simple steps to start your estate planning journey.
Understanding what happens to your assets after you die is a very important part of creating a plan. An experienced estate planning attorney can help make sure you have everything documented properly in order to help diminish the possibility of estate litigation and family feuds. In order for your loved ones to be taken care of when you’re gone, it’s vital to start while you’re still healthy.
Below are 5 steps to begin an estate plan of your own:
1) Taking Stock of Assets
Create a list of assets that will need to be transferred after your death, including things like stocks, bonds, bank accounts and any real estate. This can also include small personal items, like jewelry, all the way up to large properties.
2) Update Your Beneficiaries
Update your beneficiary designations with any banks or investment firms you may have an account with. This is important because many institutions require a beneficiary designation in order to provide access to your funds after you’re gone.
3) List Any Debts
If you owe any debts, it’s necessary to create a list of them as well. This includes things like credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and any other business or personal debts that you owe. Your estate planning attorney can help you organize this information.
4) Naming an Executor
One of the most important steps will be to name an executor. This person will be responsible for managing your estate after you’re gone, so it’s essential to choose someone you trust. An estate planning attorney can fill this role if you want to remove the burden from your family.
5) Meet With a Reputable Attorney
The best way to make sure you’ve thought of everything is to talk with a knowledgeable attorney who has years of experience to draw on. Be sure to check out online reviews before making a final decision.
Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is a subject that not many people like to think about, but it’s important to prepare for the future. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, your family may be left with more than they bargained for when trying to sort out your affairs after you die. If you have any questions, or want more information on what we’ve discussed so far, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Whether you need legal representation during an estate litigation, or help guiding your family through the process of settling a loved one’s affairs, we’re here for you. At Lewman Law, we offer free consultations so that we can learn about what matters most to you. Call us at (925) 447-1250 today!