Being forced to talk about a day when you are no longer around for your family is probably not your ideal evening, but it may be something you need to do. Estate planning is necessary for all families, though it does require you to talk about an unpleasant topic.
Even if you are relatively young, with a new family, you should start estate planning as soon as possible. It is smart to have an estate plan in place, no matter what your age or the status of your family, in order to protect your assets and your loved ones.
How does an estate plan help me and my family?
You might think that estate planning is only for the elderly or the ultra-wealthy, but that is not true. Everyone can benefit from estate planning no matter how old or how much money you have. An estate plan provides protection for your family and makes sure your wishes are carried out after you die.
In your estate plan you can name a guardian for your children, dictate who receives what from your estate and assign power of attorney for your health and your finances. Without an estate plan, many of these decisions may be made for you by the courts or your immediate family, and they may not do what you want.
How do I start?
Beginning the process is relatively simple, but requires a few steps. You should make a list of all your assets, including properties and investments, so you know what is there to include in your plan. You will also want to begin a discussion with your family about your estate plan such as who to name as a guardian for your children and whether or not you want to set up trusts.
You will also want to speak with an attorney. Estate planning can be complicated and you will want an experienced attorney to help you navigate the laws and regulations surrounding estate planning.
Though the process and conversations involved with estate planning can be tough, it is worth it to have peace of mind regarding your estate and your family.