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7 Estate Planning Tips You Should Know

Middle-aged couple discussing their estate plan with a professional

Estate planning is one of the best ways you can ensure that you have some form of security set aside for your family, even if a calamity was to happen to you right now. You never really know when tragedy will strike. For this reason, you need to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of if anything happens.

Even individuals who have very few assets need to do some basic estate planning as well. What if you were to pass away in the near future? Wouldn’t you want to leave your kids or other members of your family with your assets? If you don’t plan out your estate, the state can seize what you have or the decision will rest in the hands of a judge.

Read these seven essential estate planning tips below.

1. Will

Ensure that you have your will written as soon as possible if it has not yet been written. A will is used to determine where your assets will be distributed and who will get what. Items such as your car, home, bank accounts, and personal possessions are what you can include in your will to distribute to the people of your choosing at the point of your passing.

2. Guardianship plan for your minor children

You need to carefully consider who will have to take the responsibility of raising your children should both you and your spouse pass away. It is also vital that you start planning on how you can get life insurance coverage to make sure your children are taken care of in case anything happens to you.

3. Executor

An executor is the person you appoint to carry out the wishes that you put in your will. For simple estates, you can request a friend or a family member to do the work, but you will need an estate lawyer to handle any complex estates.

4. Trust

A living trust is meant to serve two purposes. Firstly, it would allow someone else to manage all of your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated. And second, it would give you the ability to pass on any of your assets without having to go through the public probate process. This means that your trust can own your house, bank accounts, car, or other assets. You are your own trustee, but you should appoint a successor who acts as an extension of you.

5. Power of Attorney

This will allow someone to manage and control your financial affairs at any point during your lifetime. In most cases, you will find that couples are the ones that go for this option and allow the other to act at any time should one spouse become incapacitated.

6. How You Hold Assets

In many cases, most of the items of a deceased partner usually automatically pass onto the surviving partner, but others may not. This is why it is vital that you properly hold titles to your homes, bank accounts, and any other important possessions.

7. Beneficiaries

It is important that you keep your accounts updated to prevent your ex-spouse from inheriting them (if you wish). This includes retirement accounts, life insurance, pensions, and brokerage accounts.

Would you like to secure your family’s financial future with estate planning? Click here to contact the experts at Hunsberger Dunn LLP today!


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