Mark Glendon

ADDRESS : NY, USA, East Setauket, NY 11733
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How to Start the Estate Planning Process

Estate planning sounds complex, but it's essentially just the process of deciding who will receive your assets and handle your personal responsibilities if you become incapacitated or after you pass away. Unfortunately, it's not just as simple as telling someone how you want your assets divided up if you die. An estate planning law firm can help you tackle the process of estate planning by facilitating the following steps.

Take an inventory.

Take stock of all your tangible assets, such as your:

  • Land
  • Home
  • Vehicles
  • Collectible items
  • Personal possessions

You should also make sure to take an inventory of your intangible assets, which may include your checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, and any businesses that you own.

Once you have a full inventory of everything, you'll need to assess its value. An estate planning law firm can help you do that using appraisals and financial statements.

Consider your family's needs.

You should consider the age of your family members and their circumstances to ensure that your assets and family's needs are protected after you're gone. For example, you'll want to make sure you have enough life insurance for your spouse or children. If you have children, you should also name a guardian for them and establish your wishes for your children's care once you're gone.

Work with a law firm to create legal directives.

A lawyer at an estate planning law firm can walk you through the process of establishing legal directives like a trust, medical care directive, and power of attorney. These directives ultimately determine who takes control of your medical care, finances, and more if you are incapacitated or when you die. Creating these legal instructions can sometimes be complicated and confusing, so it's best to rely on a reputable estate planning attorney for guidance.

Designate your beneficiaries.

An estate planning lawyer can also help you make sure that your beneficiaries are all updated and listed correctly so that the right people get your assets. Leaving beneficiary sections blank, not updating beneficiaries as your life circumstances change, and not naming contingent beneficiaries are all common issues that should be addressed.

Update your estate plan as needed.

Of course, if your circumstances change, you'll need to update your estate planning documents. For example, getting a divorce, having a baby, or losing a loved one are all critical life changes that will require changes to your estate planning documents. A lawyer that specializes in estate planning can help you make the necessary changes.

Author Resource:-

Mark writes often about estate planning. His articles may include topics like real estate closing attorney and business succession laws to help the people in needs. You can find his thoughts at local estate planners blog.

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