Irony about life is, it is better to plan for your death. Estate planning is a must if you want your family to be grateful to you even after your death and of course leaving them your wealth behind. Planning your estate will definitely put your mind at ease. There are some simple steps you can follow to create an estate plan.
1. Making a will is the first step. You should state who you want to inherit your property. You can choose a guardian to take care of you children after you are gone
2. Your family won’t have to go through probate court if you hold your property in a living trust.
3. You can also decide and instruct on what kind of medical attention you’d like for yourself should you need one in future and your physical and mental condition then would be unable to decide what is good for you. Or you can also authorize someone to make decisions on your behalf.
4. You can propose and authorize a trusted person to handle your finances on your behalf should you become unable to do so physically or mentally on yourself. This will save your property to fall into wrong hands.
5. You can name a guardian how can handle your minor child property inherited from you till your child is an adult.
6. Naming your beneficiary for your bank accounts and retirement plans will mak it easier for the person inheriting your wealth to claim. You can also register your stocks and bonds with your beneficiary for easy transfer after your death.
7. If you have young children, consider life insurance.
8. You can be a better planner and arrange for your own funeral in your life time. You can set up a payable on death account at your bank that will pay for your funeral when you die.
9. Make clear note on your organ donations. And how do you want your body be disposed- burial or cremation.
10. If you are sole owner of your business, you should have somebody in your mind who could take care of it when you are gone. It should be clearly specified.
11. You should keep your all important documents in hand and known to your trusted person should you meet untimely death. Your attorney or your executor would need access to the following documents:
• insurance policies
• real estate deeds
• certificates for stocks, bonds, annuities
• information on bank accounts, mutual funds, and safe deposit boxes
• information on retirement plans, 401(k) accounts, or IRAs
• information on debts: credit cards, mortgages and loans, utilities, and unpaid taxes
• Information on Top ten trusts or funeral prepayment plans, and any final arrangements instructions you have made.
These are the simple but important and inevitable things you should take care of in your life time if your intend on an easy transfer of your wealth and property to your loved ones after your death. For sure you cannot be replaced to your family but your deed will make them grateful to your even after you are gone.