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Important steps to help you get your estate plan rolling

Death: it’s not a pleasant term. In fact, it’s something that people in Lee County, or anywhere else, rarely want to even talk about. Perhaps death is so hard to talk about because it’s such an unknown. However, death is inevitable so planning for your assets and loved ones after your death doesn’t have to be an unknown. It can actually make life after death quite straightforward with the right estate planning tools in place.

In order to get the process started consider some of these suggestions. First, start by talking about death with family members and sharing one’s wishes. Next, having an understanding of one’s state death tax laws can help get the right estate plan in place. When people consider hiring an attorney they should make sure that attorney is experienced with estate administration, probate litigation and tax planning.

It’s also a good idea to have an understanding of one’s retirement accounts, bank accounts, life insurance policies and all other possible assets. People should consider the executor of their estate carefully. After selecting an executor, one might want to consider a joint bank account with that person. In this technological age, people also need to consider their online presence, including passwords and online accounts.

If you count yourself among those who would rather not broach the subject of death, you’re not alone. However, by making plans today for those you leave behind after death can actually serve to bring peace of mind to your life now. If you haven’t done anything to develop your estate plan, or it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed your plan, then meeting with an experienced estate-planning attorney is probably a logical step for you to take.

Source: MarketWatch, “9 steps to getting your estate plan in order,” Melody Juge, Nov. 3, 2014.

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