Estate planning is an important part of growing older. You want to make sure that you take steps to protect yourself, your assets and your beneficiaries. An estate plan does all this by making sure your wishes are protected by law.
A good estate plan has several parts including your will, the assignment of guardians, trusts and more. Your attorney will talk to you about your specific situation and the plans that you need to put into place to protect your interests.
In most cases, starting your estate plan is as easy as bringing your financial documents to your attorney's office. You should have some ideas about what you'd like to see happen for your beneficiaries. For example, if you want to leave your children $100,000 each, it may be a good idea to put those funds into a trust now or to assign your life insurance to trusts that pay out when they're old enough to handle the money properly.
Estate planning prevents a long probate process
Estate planning prevents your family from having to go through a long probate process when you pass away. Since your assets are assigned and your wishes are known, you stay in control of what happens next. This prevents the court from giving away your assets based on the state laws that would govern estates without wills or other plans.
Our site has more on the importance of estate planning and what you can do to make sure your estate is prepared for your eventual death. The right actions taken now can save your family a lot of trouble in the future.