Five steps to approach estate planning

Five steps to approach estate planning

Contemplating about mortality is not a priority for numerous individuals. Resultantly, they fail to plan the management and disposition of their assets, which invariably leads to confusion, financial crisis, and disharmony among surviving family members. The best thing that one can do to ward off such situations is to undertake estate planning.

As per the popular perception, estate planning is a time and effort-intensive affair meant to be undertaken in the elderly days. However, in reality, the process is not that complicated, provided you adhere to a systematic approach. Mentioned below are few simple yet effective steps to help you navigate the entire process conveniently.

Prepare a list of your assets
You can set the ball rolling by prioritizing all your current and projected assets, which can be in the form of investments, insurance policy keepsakes, and savings for the retirement. This will help you choose the appropriate course of action and maximize benefits that estate planning is supposed to bring to you and your heirs.

Decide your heir(s)
The whole idea of estate planning boils down to helping your heir gain the property for which you toiled all your life. Here, deciding on an appropriate heir, who can be your spouse, child, distant cousin or an organization, is imperative. After all, everybody wants their legacy to flourish after they depart.

Decide about the decision makers
You need to decide individuals who will don different roles during your lifetime and afterward. Start by short-listing an executor who will be executing your will, catering to all the modalities involved in property distribution, and filing tax returns. Since the possibility of physical and mental incapability in the elderly days cannot be ignored, you need to designate someone who can take care of your financial affairs in such predicaments. Next on the list has to be an individual who can make medical decisions on your behalf, if your physical or mental condition does not allow you to do the same.

Create your will
To each his own is the mantra when it comes to drafting your will. If your finances are modest, relying on an appropriate online legal document service makes sense. Otherwise, you can seek professional help from an attorney who will help you draft the will without much hassle. Depending on several factors, the attorney fee may range from $500 to $2,000. It is advisable to prefer an attorney with a respectable reputation and a systematic as well ethical approach.

Assign power of attorney
With age, our decision-making abilities deteriorate. As such, it is in your best interest to assign a power of attorney to someone who is intelligent enough to make pragmatic decisions on your behalf. Known as attorney in fact, the designated person will be at the helm of all your financial affairs. Paying your bills and looking after your investments will be high on his/her agenda.

Contrary to the perception, real estate planning is not that intricate a task. You just need to follow the aforementioned steps and help yourself to a hassle-free management and disposition of assets.