The top three reasons that clients engage in estate planning are to 1. avoid probate (59%), 2. minimize discord among beneficiaries (57%), and 3. protect children from mismanaging their inheritances (39%). But there are plenty of reasons to involve yourself in the process and re-evaluate your estate plan. However, whether you’re starting from scratch or just making some changes, knowing how to navigate the process properly is the key to gaining the peace of mind that comes with knowing your estate is taken care of after your passing. With that in mind, here are just a few dos and don’ts to remember when creating your estate plan.
DO: Work with an estate planning attorney.
Some people feel as though they can navigate the process without an attorney, but the truth is, only an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you navigate the process efficiently and ensure you don’t leave anything out. Without legal help, the process is likely to take exponentially longer, not to mention give you a major headache. When it comes to something as valuable and important as your estate, it’s always best to leave it to the professionals who have helped countless others just like you.
DON’T: Forget to plan for emergency end-of-life care.
Planning for emergency end-of-life care should be a priority. If you ever become unable to communicate your wishes, this document will go into effect and ensure they’re carried out.
DO: Make a plan for your pets.
Don’t forget to make sure that your pets are covered when it comes to forming your end-of-life plan. Pets are considered personal property by law, and having someone to take care of them after your passing is essential. An estate planning attorney can even help you set up a separate pet trust with care instructions.
DON’T: Forget to keep your plan updated.
Finally, be sure to make changes to your plan whenever you feel like it’s necessary. Major life events are just one reason — getting married or divorced, having children, etc. are all reasons to revisit your plan.
Ultimately, keeping these dos and don’ts in mind during your estate planning process is the best way to ensure that all your bases are covered and no detail is left out. For more information about estate planning attorneys, contact Baird Mandalas Law.