Some things we love to talk about, others….not so much. Estate planning falls directly into the category of things that are easily considered topics we rather live without. But, in most cases, especially if you own properties and more, you’ll need to set up a strong estate plan. But what is estate planning really and how do you go about planning all the details? It’s actually easier than you would think, however you’ll want to make sure to hire an estate planning lawyer to help you through the process. Before you do that though, here are a few tips to get you comfortable with the idea of estate planning.
Make a will
The very first thing you’ll want to do, and your lawyer will agree, is to write out your personal will. Though this can be a very difficult thing to do emotionally, it’s the most important step. In your will you’ll want to state who will inherit what and if you have children, you’ll want to name a guardian who will care for them should something happen to you and your partner (the other parent).
Consider a trust of some sort
For some, a trust is a good idea. What a trust does is allow your survivors to access and gain your property for themselves without having to go through probate court. This in the end saves both time and money.
Make your health care wants are known
According to “Grand Rapids Estate Planning”, another very important thing to do is to write down a list of your health care wishes. This means detailing what you would want doctors and family members to do should you end up in an unconscious state of some sort. You’ll be able to protect yourself while not being able to make the decisions right then and there. Some people note this type of form as a living will. You can also create a power of attorney for health care, which allows your chosen person to make health care decisions for you.
Create a financial power of attorney
A financial power of attorney is, simply put, enlisting the trust of an individual to take control of your finances should you not be able to do so yourself. This person will then have power over your cash, property and any financial affairs you currently have. This person also acquires the title of attorney-in-fact or agent.
Protect your child’s property
When in the process of estate planning, you’ll also want to make sure you keep your children in mind as well. This means that if you should name an adult to manage any of your money assets, you need to also make sure that that person is aware of and is protecting any money or property that your minor children stand to inherit from you.
Apart from the details listed above, there are several other steps to take in order to completely fill out your estate planning paperwork. Because there is so much more that goes into estate planning than you might have previously realized, it is very important that you have an estate planning lawyer guiding you through the process.