So you just got out of college or graduated high school, what’s next? You have little to your name and are starting to apply for your first full-time job. Believe it or not, but the next move is to start planning your estate.
Everyone age 18 and older needs at least some basic estate planning documents such as a will. Even if you own very little, it’s time to start working on your estate plan. You still need an advance health care directive and a power of attorney. These documents designate agents to make decisions for you, in the event you become incapacitated.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ recent article reminds us that incapacity doesn’t just happen to the elderly. It can happen from an accident, a health crisis, or an injury. To have these documents in place, you just need to state the person you want to make decisions for you and generally what those decisions should be.
How Estate Planning Works
An experienced estate planning attorney will help you draft your will by using a questionnaire you complete before your initial meeting. This helps you to organize and list the information required. It also helps the attorney spot issues, such as taxes, blended families and special needs.
You will list your assets — real property, business entities, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, cars, life insurance and anything else you may own. The estimated or actual value of each item should also be included. If you have life insurance or retirement plans, attach a copy of the beneficiary designation form.
An experienced estate planning attorney will discuss your financial and family situation and offer options for a plan that will fit your needs.
The attorney may have many different solutions for the issues that concern you and those you may not have considered. These might include a child with poor money habits, a blended family where you need to balance the needs of a surviving spouse with the expectations of the children from a prior marriage, a pet needing ongoing care, or your thoughts about who to choose as your trustee or power of attorney.
There are many possible solutions, and you aren’t required to know them before you move ahead with your estate planning.
If you are an adult, and yes you are one now, you know generally what you own, your name and address and the names of your spouse and children or any other beneficiaries you’d like to include in your plan. So, now you’re ready to move ahead with your estate planning. The key is to do this now and not procrastinate.
Next Steps for You
Connect with Ozarks Legacy Law today to start working on your estate planning documents with an experienced estate planning attorney. We’ve been helping families in the Ozarks with over 50 years of combined experience. The best thing you can do for your family and your money is to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected. Book a time to talk with one of our team members or give us a call now!