Estate Planning: 3 Tips to Help You Begin

Estate planning is a subject that many people avoid. It requires thinking about their mortality, which is something that none of us like to acknowledge. But the truth is that none of us are going to live forever. And so, you have a choice: put an organized and strategic estate plan together or simply sit back and let things happen. Opting for the latter could result in an unnecessary amount of your money going to court and lawyer fees instead of your beneficiaries.  And the end result might mean that the people who inherit your assets are not the same people you would have intended had you thought things through.  That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place that will clearly express your wishes.

Here are 3 tips to help you get started with your estate plan.

Tip No. 1: Itemize Your Assets.

You need to know exactly what your assets are before you can start planning. Take a complete inventory of real estate and business holdings, investments, insurance policies, retirement savings, and similar interests. Know the cash value of all assets as well as the names of any beneficiaries you have already designated.

Tip No. 2: Think About Potential Fiduciaries.

Every estate plan involves naming various fiduciaries, e.g. guardian for minor children, agent under Power of Attorney or Health Care Surrogate, Executor/Personal Representative, etc.  Think about whom you would feel comfortable naming.  Consider discussing your decisions with people that you will name before finalizing your plan.

Tip No. 3: Reassess the Plan Periodically.

Plan to re-evaluate your estate plan from time to time, especially after major life events such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child, to make sure that the plan will still work as you like. In particular, don’t overlook significant assets like your IRA or life insurance policy. For example, leaving your former spouse’s name on a policy can create serious problems, especially if you remarried in the interim, but it happens all the time.

If you’d like some assistance creating a plan for the future of your estate, we can help. Please contact us today to learn more!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

3 Essential Tools For Business Estate Planning
3 Reasons To Review Your Estate Planning Now
7 Damaging Misconceptions About Florida Estate Planning
Avoid The High Cost Of Bad Estate Planning
Business Succession: An Important Part Of Your Estate Planning
Diy Estate Planning: Is It Worth The Risks?
Estate Planning 101: Five Essential Steps In Creating A Living Trust
Estate Planning 101: How To Have Difficult Conversations With Your Loved Ones
Estate Planning 101: If You Own Firearms, Consider Creating A Gun Trust
Estate Planning 101: The Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Irrevocable Trust
Estate Planning Basics: Why Avoiding Probate Is Preferable
Estate Planning Beyond The Will: The Importance Of Powers Of Attorney
Estate Planning For Business Owners
Estate Planning For Parents Of Children With Disabilities: Six Key Issues To Consider
Estate Planning: Do You Have A Plan For Your Digital Assets?
Estate Planning: It’s Never Too Early To Begin
Estate Planning: Understanding The Role Of Executor
Four Disastrous Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid
High Net-Worth Estate Planning: 5 Potential Methods To Help Minimize Estate Tax Liability
How Divorce Affects Your Estate Plans
Isn’t Estate Planning For The Elderly Or The Ultra Wealthy?
New Year’s Resolution – Time To Update My Estate Plan
Secure Your Legacy: Five Often Overlooked Questions That Must Be Answered By Your Estate Plan
Top Estate Planning Excuses
What Are Some Of The Most Effective Estate Planning Strategies For Asset Preservation?
What To Bring When You Meet With Your Estate Planning Attorney
Why Do I Need To Hire An Estate Planning Attorney?

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.