Think you don’t need an estate plan? Think again! Estate planning can only benefit you and your family as it is the best way to communicate your wishes after you pass.
To ensure your estate isn’t dragged through the courts and that your decisions are carried out, follow these five simple steps.
1. Take inventory
One of the first things you should do is take an inventory of your assets and liabilities. Determine your net worth and what exactly compromises your estate. Assets like a family business will require special provisions. Before scheduling an appointment with your Tampa estate lawyer, do your homework and write down a list of questions.
2. Determine your beneficiaries
Once you’ve taken inventory of your assets, decide how you’d like them to be distributed. For example, if you have children, you may want a trust to stagger when they receive the money. They can receive some at age 18, 20, 22, etc. An adult in their early 20s will most likely not make the same decisions with money as they would in their 30s.
3. Who will manage your plan?
Determine who will manage your estate plan. Do you want the executor to be your spouse, child, Tampa estate lawyer, corporate trustee, etc? It all depends on the nature of your assets. You’ll also want to choose an individual to have power of attorney if you become incapacitated, and an advance health care directive so a trusted individual can make medical decision on your behalf.
4. Determine what type of plan you need
A will makes sense for most people, but not all. Some people may want to consider a revocable trust, especially if they own real estate or properties throughout various states.
5. Find a trusted lawyer
Find a trusted Tampa estate lawyer to draw up your will and estate planning documents. Unless your estate is very simple, you’ll want to consult with an individual rather than an online resource.