If you think that estate planning is only for wealthy people and rich families, think again. Those who don’t have an estate plan may end up causing more confusion and further pain for family members who will already be grieving their loss. An estate plan provides instructions for how assets, guardianships, trusts, and other preferences are to be carried out after someone’s death. As a lawyer from W. B. Moore Law LLC. would agree with, it doesn’t matter how much your belongings are worth or how much money you have in the bank, we all have a legacy that deserves to be passed on to those we cherish the most. If you are stressed out about the idea of devising an estate plan, just consider these first few easy steps to get you started:
Write down everything you own.
Take a walk around your home. Do you have art hanging on the walls? Furniture in each room? Are there family heirlooms that mean something to you? Are there sentimental items that may not be worth much, but they are special to you anyway? Write down a list of everything you own, both tangible and intangible assets. Examples of intangible assets are things like trademarks, copyrights, patents, brand equity, and intellectual property.
Write down people and charity organizations you care about.
Who are the people you love most? Do you have family members or friends who you would want to have a piece of your legacy after you have passed away? Writing down the names of your beneficiaries after the list of assets can enable you to more easily connect who you want to receive which of your belongings, property, or money. You can choose to include charity in your estate plan as well, which will be transferred to the organization after your death.
Consider the impacts of not having a will.
If you die without having a will, then your estate may be handled by the court based on state intestacy laws. By law, a deceased person’s estate is handed over to the court to identify beneficiaries and then transfer assets. There is no guarantee that the court will consider what the deceased would have wanted either. Upon realizing this information, many people feel suddenly motivated to finally establish that estate plan they have been putting off. A will is one of the best ways for people to direct who they want to inherit certain assets, so the court doesn’t do it for them.
It isn’t uncommon for people to visit with a lawyer, such as a living trust lawyer residents trust from W. B. Moore Law LLC., to get more guidance on how to devise their estate plan. These documents will be impactful in how your legacy is to be passed down to future generations. There are generic programs available online that allow you to create an estate plan within minutes, but a lawyer will be able to customize it so your specific needs and preferences are met.