The Four P’s of Estate Planning

Many people understand the importance of creating an estate plan, however it is often difficult to determine where to begin. A recent article simplifies the estate planning process into four steps: people, property, plans, and planners. Below is a brief overview of this process.

    1. People:  The first and foremost thing to consider when creating your estate plan is people. Make a list of all the people you would like to receive assets from your estate. If you have children who are under the age of eighteen, carefully consider who you would trust to care for them and manage finances on their behalf. Finally, consider whether you would like to leave a gift to any charitable organizations.

    2. Property: The second P of estate planning is property. Make a list of all your significant assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, and investments. You don’t need to detail every item of personal property, however if there is a specific item you’d like to leave to somebody, be sure to list it

    3. Plans: After you have listed your property and those you would like to benefit upon your death, it is time to link the two. You may wish to divide your property evenly by the number of heirs you have, or you may wish to leave specific assets to specific heirs.

    4. Planners: The final P of estate planning is planners. Planners are the experts who finalize your estate plans with the appropriate legal documents. These documents may include a will, trust, advance directive, or power of attorney.