Although it may seem simple and straightforward on its face, there are actually a lot of moving parts to estate planning. Neglecting any one of them could lead to unintended and unwanted outcomes, including having your assets fall into the hands of someone you never would have intended to inherit in the first place. This can put your estate and your loved ones’ financial futures at risk, which is why it’s imperative that you’re thorough in your estate planning.
As you embark on your estate planning journey, there are some steps that you’ll want to take in order to protect your assets and your loved ones as fully as possible. Those steps include each of the following:
- Write down a list of your physical assets: This can be quite a long list, and it may take you some time to compile, but it can ensure that your estate plan is holistic and covers all of your assets.
- List all accounts: For nonphysical assets, such as insurance policies and retirement and investment accounts, make sure you write down account information in one easy to find location. You may also want to compile all documentation pertaining to these accounts in one place.
- Track debts: Estate planning isn’t just about the distribution of your assets. It also involves paying off your debts once your gone. So, make sure you have a list of all debts, including your mortgage and credit card debts, along with account information and contact information for creditors.
- Revisit beneficiaries: If you have named beneficiaries on certain insurance policies and transfer on death accounts, then you’ll want to make sure that you’ve named the person you intend to inherit.
- Choose the right estate administrator: Estate administration is a big job, and one that requires organization, strong decision-making skills, and good moral character. So, make sure that you’re choosing a person who fits the bill so that your estate will be handled properly.
These are just a few of the considerations that you need to take into account as you navigate the estate planning process. Remember, estate planning involves a lot more than just creating a simple will. Therefore, if you think that you could benefit from some assistance in developing the estate plan that is right for you, your assets, and your loved ones, then now may be the time to speak with an experienced attorney.