power of attorney

The Importance of Estate Planning and How to Get Started

May 20, 2024

Most people spend their entire lives accumulating material wealth. However, we are all going to die. Collecting material goods can be satisfying whilst we’re alive but serves no purpose after our death. The average person leaves all of their things to their children, so they can enjoy them too. If you are unsure what to do with your estate, now’s the time to begin estate planning. Estate planning will help you to effectively divvy up your belongings and distribute them among your loved ones. This post will explore this topic, telling you why estate planning is important and how you can get started. Read on to find out more.

estate planning

Why Is Estate Planning Important?

Estate planning is important because it helps people to get an idea of what is going to happen to their things after they die. Most people are very attached to their belongings, so the thought of them ending up in somebody other than a loved one’s hands after dying can be quite intimidating. Unfortunately, people without estate plans worked out can’t guarantee their belongings aren’t going to end up in random people’s homes. The experts over at Raymond E. Brown make it clear that if you want an effective estate plan drawn up, you should get in touch with a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help you ensure that your things end up with your loved ones after your death. You won’t have to worry about them going to auction or the government seizing them.

Getting In Touch with a Lawyer

As mentioned in the previous section, a lawyer can help you to draw up an estate plan. There are many different lawyers specializing in estate law that you can work with. You need to shop around and find one who’s qualified, experienced, and able to help you get your plan worked out. Bear in mind that not all lawyers are equal. Some are much better than others. You need to find a lawyer whose level of experience is much higher than any other in your area. Also ensure that the lawyer you work with has good reviews. Reviews give you insight into a lawyer’s efficacy. You can also check out their star rating. The higher a business’s star rating is, the more they can be trusted. Finally, think about cost. Try to find a lawyer whose services are offered at a price point you can afford.

Thinking About Your Assets

If you are interested in hiring an estate planner to help you distribute your assets among your loved ones, you need to spend some time thinking about who you want your things to go to. Remember that when you are giving your belongings away, family members are always going to feel left out. Obviously, it’s impossible to give everything away evenly. Some people are always going to be upset. However, you need to try and make sure that you are fair in your asset distribution. Make sure that loved ones receive the things they want and try to help people as much as you can. If you do not talk to specific family members, do not hesitate to cut them out of your estate plan. You are under no obligation to give your family members your things. You should only give them things if you really want to.

estate planning

Cutting Out Family Members

As mentioned in the last part of the previous section, you do not have to give anything to anybody. If there are family members you do not want to leave your belongings to, you shouldn’t hesitate to cut them out. It is commonplace for people’s loved ones, especially one’s children, to come to expect an inheritance. Such individuals are often the most toxic. Cutting people out of your estate plan can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you are cutting out close family members, but ultimately you need to make sure you are happy. After all, everything you bought in life, you earned the money for. You therefore have the final say over who gets what. If people get upset, they just have to learn to deal with those emotions. You mustn’t feel guilty about leaving people out.

Thinking About People’s Futures

We all know somebody who’s bad with money. If you want to leave your estate to a loved one who can’t take care of themselves, consider putting their inheritance into a trust for them. A trust will ensure they are able to use your money to live without spending it all. Trusts can be difficult to arrange, especially if you are new to estate planning, but a lawyer will be able to help you. Bring the idea of a trust up with your chosen lawyer. Estate planning lawyers are experts in trusts. Also, think about whether or not your loved ones are going to be able to buy a house in the future. If you have grandchildren, you might want to leave your house to them or their parents, so they have stable accommodation. House prices are through the roof, so gifting a loved one your house could take a lot of stress out of their life and allow them to start their families a lot sooner.

Power of Attorney

Finally, think about power of attorney. A person with power of attorney is an agent who can act on your behalf if you are unable to do so, i.e. because you are sick or incapacitated. If you do not have a person named to act as your power of attorney, the court could be left to decide what happens to you or your arrests if you are unable to take care of yourself. Very rarely will the court’s decision be what you would have wanted it to be. Make sure that the person you name is somebody who’s responsible and is going to make the kind of decisions that you would. Also, ensure that they are the type of person to stand up for you and argue on your behalf.

If you are interested in estate planning, get in touch with an attorney. A lawyer will be able to walk you through the process and ensure that your estate is properly organized. Give consideration to the other points made in this post as well. That way, you can keep your estate in order. 

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