Your Guide To Basic Estate Planning In 6 Steps

Most of us want to avoid litigation, especially over an estate. Having a plan helps you do that. The best time to think about your plan is when you don’t have a compelling reason to do.

Keep your family’s best interests at heart with a well-developed estate plan. Estate planning will give you control over your asset distribution during your lifetime to your loved ones.

It is a good idea to sit down with an estate planning attorney or a tax attorney who is familiar with asset protection and tax planning.  Here is a simple estate planning guide.

Step 1

Set up most of your assets as non-probate property. These assets outside the will and, for many of us, are the bulk of our estate.

Appoint a personal representative, commonly called an executor, and give the executor the powers necessary to fulfill your wishes.

Step 2: Set up your will for probate property

Write a letter of last directions, separate from your will, that may provide your preferences regarding funeral and burial arrangements.

Step 3: Leave your letter of instructions

Most people know what a will is, and it is the first place to handle probate property, but trusts are increasingly more popular in estate planning.

Step 4: Trusts have additional features not found in wills

Use trusts when you have a more complex estate, have less liquid assets, and desire privacy as trusts avoid probates. Trusts provide some features that a will won’t.

Prepare health care proxies, often called advance medical directives, that is, a living will and your durable powers of attorney.

Step 5: Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney

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