3 Tips For Starting The Estate Planning Process

No one wants to think about their own death, but it's important that you take the time to consider how your passing will affect your family members and friends. When no will or trust is left behind by a deceased individual, that person's assets can end up in probate for a significant period of time.

If you don't want to leave your loved ones without access to your assets, you need to engage in estate planning. Here are three tips that you can use to get started with the estate planning process in the future.

1. Identify your assets.

Before you can begin to make legal arrangements for the transfer of your assets after death, you need to know what assets you have that would be considered valuable. You should make a list of all your valuable property.

This list should include both real estate and bank accounts, but also retirement accounts and any personal items that could have significant worth. Once you know the value of your estate, you can begin making arrangements to transfer ownership of your assets to your loved ones in the event of your death.

2. Determine who you want to receive your assets.

If you want to ensure that certain members of your family, close friends, or charitable organizations are taken care of after your death, then you need to make specific arrangement to transfer ownership of assets to these people or organizations after your death.

You should evaluate your list of assets and determine who you want to inherit each asset. Once you know who you will bequeath your assets to, you can make legal arrangements to ensure these individuals receive their inheritance without delay.

3. Identify your estate options.

When it comes to making arrangements for your estate, you can opt to use either a will or a trust. You should take the time to consult with an attorney before deciding which type of legal arrangement makes sense for your unique situation.

A will provides written instruction for the dispersal of your assets, but the will can be contested in court. A trust allows multiple people to access assets while avoiding the probate process. An attorney will be able to help you decide if a will or a trust is better suited to meet your needs.

Starting the estate planning process can seem daunting, but there are some simple things you can do to start making arrangements for the dispersal of your assets. Identify all of your valuable assets, determine who you want to inherit these assets, then work with an attorney to create an estate plan that works for you. To learn more, contact an attorney like Christena Silvey Coleman CSC Law, LLC