Initial Talks: Be Proactive About Planning Your Estate
Planning your estate gives you control over your final affairs. Take the initiative and keep in mind for your initial consultation with your estate planning attorney the following:
- Designate individuals you trust to act on your behalf. Your Executor will carry out your final wishes according to the terms in your Will. Your agents in your Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive make decisions concerning your financial affairs and health care, respectively, when you are unable to make those decisions because of illness or incapacity.
- Determine whom you would want to act on your behalf if the individuals you originally considered are unable or unwilling to serve. Designating back-ups ensures that your wishes will be carried out expeditiously.
- Determine what assets comprise your estate, which includes real and personal property, investment and retirement accounts, life insurance, and business interests. Estimate the value of each asset so that your attorney will be able to discuss tax planning with you.
- Plan how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. Specifying who receives what property lessens the likelihood of family disputes. Trusts may be beneficial for asset protection or tax planning. You may want to consider giving a portion of your assets to charity.
Estate planning is not required, but it facilitates the transfer of wealth to the next generation. If you are interested in planning your estate, we at The Becker Law Firm would be happy to answer your questions and help you.