Painless Estate Planning

Despite the grave importance of having an estate plan, a large amount of Americans still have not undertaken any steps towards drafting their estate plan. Often, people put the task aside because it is unpleasant to consider the reality of our deaths.

A recent article suggests that, by simply preparing for a meeting with an estate planning attorney, people can make estate planning as quick and painless as possible. Several things a person should do before meeting with their estate planning attorney include:

  1. Creating an inventory of your assets. Assets include all financial accounts such as investment and retirement accounts, insurance policies, real property, and valuable personal property.
  2. Consider who you would like the beneficiaries of your estate to be. The beneficiaries of your estate are the people who will receive the assets in your estate after your death. Also consider who you would like “back-up” beneficiaries to be. Consider that your spouse or children may predecease you.
  3. Consider who you would like to manage your financial affairs should you become unable to do so based on incapacity.
  4. Consider who you trust to manage and distribute your estate honestly and according to your wishes after your death.
  5. If you have children who have not yet reached majority, consider who you would trust to care for them should they be left without a parent. Be sure to discuss your election with your selected guardian before writing their name into your will. Moreover, select an alternate guardian should your first choice be unable or predecease you.