Estate planning is something that every adult needs to do and it is better to get your affairs in order sooner rather than later. Life can be unpredictable and estate planning is important for peace of mind. There is more to this than writing a will, so this post will look at how you can manage estate planning and have a plan in place for when you are no longer around.
What is estate planning?
First, it is important to establish exactly what estate planning is. Essentially, this is the process of making it clear how you want your estate to be handled in the event of your death/incapacitation. This can include property, vehicles, savings pensions, life insurance and investment. Estate planning will involve how your assets will be distributed, managed and preserved and take into account the financial obligations that you have.
Keep an updated will
One of the key aspects of estate planning is keeping an updated will. You could write your will now, but life will change and in 30 years you may want to change your plan (such as if you get married/divorced or have kids or even grandkids). This is why it is a good idea to update your will from time to time and always after a major life experience.
Consider a trust for your estate
It is also worth considering a trust for your estate. Essentially, this is a legal contract with a named trustee that will ensure that your estate is managed according to your wishes and can protect items from probate court (which can be expensive). It is also helpful in terms of providing privacy around assets and amounts.
Review your retirement accounts
You also want to review your retirement accounts and set up a beneficiary for these. This way, you can ensure that you can leave behind the money in your retirement accounts/what is left in them in the event of your passing.
Simplify your finances
Estate management can be complex and you do not want your death to cause even more stress and grief with your finances that are all over the place and hard to track down. This is why it is a good idea to simplify your finances as best you can by limiting the number of different accounts that you have and consolidating different pension accounts into one account. This will also make your finances a lot easier to manage!
The advice in this post should help you to get started with your estate planning and protect your assets. It is not nice to think about, but it is important to get your affairs in order and this is something that is always done sooner rather than later (but you should always remember to update your estate plan as your situation changes).