As the year draws to a close and we prepare to welcome 2024, many of us are reflecting on the past year and setting new goals for ourselves. While resolutions often revolve around personal health and fitness, one important aspect that often gets overlooked is estate planning.
Estate planning is the process of organizing and managing your assets in preparation for your death or incapacitation. It ensures that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of.
Why is estate planning important?
There are many benefits to having an estate plan. Here are a few:
It ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to state law, which may not be in line with your wishes.
It can help to avoid probate. Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing your assets after your death. It can be time-consuming and expensive.
It can provide peace of mind. Knowing that your affairs are in order can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on enjoying your life.
What do you need to do to prepare for estate planning?
If you're considering estate planning, there are a few things you need to do:
Gather your documents. This includes your will, trust, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
Review your assets, which include your property, investments, and debts.
Decide who you want to inherit your assets. This includes your family, friends, and charities.
Choose a fiduciary/ executor/agent. This is the person who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes.
Review your estate plan regularly. As your circumstances change, you may need to update your estate plan.
How to get started with estate planning
There are a few different ways to get started with estate planning. You can:
Use an online estate planning tool. Many reputable online tools can help you create a will and other basic estate planning documents.
Meet with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you create a personalized estate plan that meets your specific needs.
Making estate planning a New Year's resolution
Estate planning is an important task that should not be put off. By making estate planning a New Year's resolution, you can take the first steps toward ensuring that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of.
Here are a few tips for making estate planning a New Year's resolution:
Set a specific goal. What do you want to accomplish with your estate plan?
Make a plan to get started. Schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney or set aside time to work on your estate plan online.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are many resources available to help you with estate planning.
So let’s get started on your resolution to create an estate plan. Give Andrea Aston a call today or simply complete the contact form here, and she will give you a call soon.