There are good and bad situations in estate planning, but often the bad is a result of poor estate planning. Therefore, consider this checklist of essentials for estate planning that ensure your estate plan is complete – including those not-so-common situations that can occur.
Using an Attorney
While you may be looking to save money, there are certain areas where you should never skimp. The most important being an estate planning attorney. Your estate planning attorney will understand any state laws that could impact your estate plan. They can also ensure all of your assets are listed appropriately and ensure your assets and loved ones are protected – something DIY estate plans cannot do.
Select a Guardian
When you create an estate plan, you need to select a guardian. This person will be in charge of raising your children; therefore, it should be someone you trust and who you know will care for your children in accordance with your wishes. You should also consider telling the individuals before you put them in your paperwork – that way there are no surprises down the road.
Estate planning isn’t something you do right before retirement. In fact, your estate plan can benefit you today – not just upon your death. It is best to start estate planning early, even if you don’t have a home or family.
Review Your Plan
Too many people pay the money to create an estate plan and never update it. If you don’t update your plan, it could be missing key information later down the road. State laws may change or you may want to update beneficiaries. Therefore, review your estate plan once a year to make sure it’s still accurate.