Estate planning is a way for people to map out how they want their affairs to be handled when they die. Sure, no one likes to think about dying, but it’s a fact of life all of us have to deal with. Setting up an estate plan to handle how your money, property, and even debts are dealt with helps avoid confusion for the people you leave behind. Estate planning helps make sure your assets aren’t tied up on the court system for a long time, and that they aren’t heavily taxed. Here are some steps on creating an effective estate plan and why it’s important.
Meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney
Find an attorney or law firm that specializes in estate planning. Schedule a meeting to go over your affairs. They’ll help you map your assets, any liabilities you have, and lay out your goals for how your estate is handled. Once your net worth is calculated, you can move on to the next step. Estate planning attorneys help you list beneficiaries, the people who will inherit your estate. In addition, the way your assets will be disbursed is listed in a will that can be drafted by the attorney.
Understand the Tax Implications of Estate Planning
Estate attorneys can also help you understand how your estate will be taxed when you die. They’ll give you options to minimize tax obligations, so more of your money goes to your beneficiaries. Whether that’s putting the assets in a trust or some other legal entity, they’ll guide you through necessary steps to protect your estate.
Another step in this process is naming people to handle difficult tasks. Attorneys can also help you name a power of attorney to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated. You’ll also need to name an executor to make sure directives in your will are carried out. Having trusted people to make decisions in your stead offers the peace of mind you need.
Working With An Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is about more than doling out money. It’s also about making sure your last years are happy, and the people you love are taken care of to the best of your ability. Because of this, find an attorney who can take the guesswork out of what happens after you’re gone. They can also make sure everything’s in place so you know your friends and family will be treated well.
Bowne-Barry & Barry can help you analyze and set up your estate planning. If you or someone you know has questions about the process, contact us today for a free consultation.