What is an Estate Plan? Many people think they do not need to concern themselves with “estate planning” because they believe that they do not have an “estate”. Or, people believe that their estate does not have great value. For these reasons, people put off planning for the future.
What is an Estate Plan? It is more than having a Will!
Estate planning is more than just having a will. Proper estate planning is the process of thinking about life-changing events like disability and death. Estate planning focuses on the value of people and relationships. Effective estate planning also addresses special concerns about family members and how efficiently or easily your loved ones are able to enact your final wishes. The size or the value of an estate is actually secondary to most estate planning issues.
When you start to think about estate planning, you must consider what your intentions are for the time when you are unable to make those intentions known. Due to disability or death there will be future circumstances in which you will not be able to voice your opinion. During the estate planning process, you consider your values and your priorities for the future. Using estate planning tools and techniques, you will be able to communicate these values and priorities to your loved ones. You are also able to identify individuals to act on these wishes for you.
Consider All Assets.
When considering the value or the size of your estate value, consider all of the assets and property that you own or have an interest in. The assets and property may include real estate such as a family home. Personal property is also a part of your estate. A normal estate’s personal property includes bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. Personal property also includes and family heirlooms or valuable. You should also consider any privately owned life insurance or employer-provided life insurance. Think about all of the resources to which you, your estate, or your family might become entitled by reason of your death. The value of these “side items” adds up fast.
Filling Out a Form Isn’t Enough.
While many online services offer inexpensive estate planning forms, hiring an attorney is essential when developing an estate plan. An attorney is able to guide you through the estate planning process, starting first and foremost with your plans for the people and relationships in your life. An attorney will help you as you decide on an executor and a plan for the distribution of your assets. Finally, documents that are drafted specifically for you by an attorney save your loved-one’s time and money after you pass away. Work with an experienced attorney today such as the Estate Planning attorney Chicago IL locals trust.
Thanks to authors at Hays Firm LLC for insight into Estate Planning.