Many people are certain that they need to make an estate plan but procrastinate doing so. They may think they have plenty of time to do that later. Getting a comprehensive plan in place, though, means you and your family are covered for several issues with death being only one of them. Read on to find out more.
It would be wrong to declare that only older individuals need an estate plan. Rather, the need for an estate plan should be prompted by certain life events. Take a look at the following milestones that should send you into the planning stages of an estate plan.
You Buy a Home
This big event represents a change and it also means thinking about how real estate is affected by probate. You can avoid probate with a few simple steps using a special deed. Not avoiding probate, on the other hand, means your home is held virtually hostage while the probate court goes through its lengthy process.
You Get Married
It's better to know what could happen to a couple's combined assets as soon as possible after the marriage. For example, you should add your spouse's name as a beneficiary to your life insurance policies (and you should have life insurance).
You Have Investment, Savings, and Bank Accounts
Your liquid assets need attention and whenever you have any consider also skipping probate and performing some transfer-on-death or payable-on-death provisions as soon as possible.
You Inherit Money
In most cases, inheritance assets are not taxable below a certain level. However, it's best to contact your estate lawyer and learn how to handle inheritance to minimize any downsides and maximize the benefit.
You Leave the Country
You can have as many powers of attorney that are necessary to take care of your needs should you travel. This allows you to designate a trusted person to handle your financial matters in your absence. You can also use powers of attorney to deal with matters should you become incapacitated.
You Become a Parent
If something should happen to both you and the other parent, your child might be at the mercy of governmental authorities. Set up a guardianship, and appoint a family member or friend to take over when you both no longer can.
To find out more about any of the above and other important elements of an estate plan, speak to an estate planning attorney soon.