Estate planning is a very personal matter. Talking about your assets, hopes for the future, death and your desires for your children and grandchildren is often not easy, particularly with someone you do not know well. However, you will need to discuss these matters when establishing or modifying your estate plan.
If you have a comprehensive estate plan, you will have powers of attorney in place in the event you can no longer make decisions for yourself. However, just because there is a plan in place, it doesn't mean everything will go smoothly.
If you're getting up there in years, you may be overlooking one important thing in your estate plan: your pets.
Watching your parents age is difficult. After they are gone, you may be the one to handle their estate. Administering an estate can be a difficult experience, especially if your responsibilities overlap with your grieving process. Yet, it can also be a very enlightening process.
When you are ready to do your estate planning, you can always show up at your attorney's office and have him or her walk through the entire planning process with you, but there are questions he or she is going to have to ask. Having the answers ahead of time can streamline that process and help you avoid making snap decisions that you will have to change later.
If there's one common mistake people make when dealing with their last will or estate plan other than putting it off too long, it's treating the process like a one-time responsibility. Some people will create a basic last will, trust or estate plan and then move on, assuming that they no longer have to worry about their assets and end-of-life planning.
Prosperous individuals are fortunate enough to be able to be extravagant when it comes to collecting things they are passionate about, such as artwork or other collectibles. Wealth allows them to purchase the best of the best, affording them the opportunity to be very particular about their taste and desires. However, particular as they may be, it is usually much easier and more fun purchasing these grand items than it is to decide what to do with them after their demise.
Many people put off creating a will or estate plan until late in life. After all, few people who are healthy and young want to consider their own deaths. However, there's no way to predict when a sudden, debilitating medical event like a stroke could strike. Car accidents, falls and other injuries can also leave you incapacitated and unable to communicate your desires to family or medical professionals.
Do you know what you would do if you were to suddenly become single? Whether due to death or divorce, are you prepared to take over all of the financial aspects of your life should you need to?
There are a lot of good reasons to do estate planning. Unfortunately, many people put it off until tomorrow. But can we ever be sure we will have a tomorrow? Life is unpredictable. That is why estate planning is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to rest easy and have peace of mind.