Did you know that more than a third of Americans don’t have updated estate plans? That’s according to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, and if you’re one of these Americans, you may be wondering what the big deal is. Unfortunately, without fully up-to-date estate plans, you can’t be sure that your loved ones will be financially protected if something were to happen to you. And while nobody enjoys thinking about life after death, having thorough plans in place is always a smart idea. The following are a few estate planning tips that you should be taking advantage of.
If you don’t have any plans at all, the first thing you should do is draft a will. Without a will, it’s up to the state to determine who gets your money. This can be especially tricky if you have multiple children, or no children at all, and if you have several forms of income and assets. Clearly stating who gets what in a will is the easiest way to avoid any problems.
When it comes to things like life insurance and retirement plans, you should review you policies to ensure all of them are up-to-date. Make sure all of the necessary forms are properly filled out and signed, and remember to update them when and if you go through a major change like a divorce.
Finally, it is important to choose the right executor for your estate. This person will be responsible for not only paying off any remaining debts you may have, but also for following your will and ensuring your assets get to the appropriate people. This can be a close friend or family member who you trust, or a professional executor.
These are just a few things to think about to help you get started with estate planning. For additional help, make sure you contact us about our estate planning services!