It is estimated that more than half of american adults have not written a will. This can cause a range of problems if something unanticipated and tragic were to happen. An estate planning attorney can help get you started if you are confused on where to begin. By creating an estate plan, you can be avoiding a devastating situation, and help prevent your family from dealing with additional stress in the event of your passing. One of the best things you can do for your loved ones is get your assets and affairs in order.
Those who choose to not write a will may have their assets decided by the state for their surviving family. This can often result in very undesirable outcomes. Here we have covered some basics about estate planning, to get you started thinking about what kinds of documents you will need to write and why it is so important.
What to Include in Your Will
There are many overall components to your will that you need to gather. This information can includes guardianship, a list of your assets, real property, your home, vehicles, personal treasures and bank account information. The more information you provide, the easier it can be for the executor of your will to carry on your wishes.
Review Your Estate Plan Every So Often
Even once your estate plan is complete and finalized, you will want to edit it every so often as life changes. It is said that about every five years a person should review their estate plan. It is possible that heirs may pass away, have remarried or you have a change of heart about who you want to include as a beneficiary. As relationships grow and end, it is important to keep your will updated as necessary.
Appoint a Guardian for Minor Children
Who would you want to raise your children if you were to pass away in a devastating accident? What kind of person do you see raising your children? What kind of qualities do they have, and are they willing to take on this responsibility? Consider who you would trust to raise your children to be adults you are proud of.
What a Living Trust Accomplishes
A living trust usually serves a couple main purposes. It permits you to pass on your assets while avoiding probate, and permits someone you appointed to handle your affairs in the event you were to become incapacitated. While you are alive, you are the trustee, but then you can appoint a successor trustee who can take over if you pass or can no longer take care of yourself.
An attorney, like an estate planning attorney Ridgefield, CT turns to, understands that this can not only be a complicated task, but a heavy and emotional one as well. It can be heartbreaking to think about if you had to leave your children earlier than expected, or who you would want to have your belongings if you pass. However, by creating an estate plan you can feel more confident about how your legacy is to carry on through your loved ones for many generations to come.
Thank you to Sweeney Legal for providing their insight on estate planning.