Things in life are often beyond our control. There isn’t much you can do to prevent certain incidents, but you can be prepared for the worst. With estate planning, you can ensure that your family is taken care of when you are not around. It is also about protecting your assets and wealth and letting your wishes be known. Consider consulting a Princeton estate planning lawyer to know how to get started. For your help, here are the five basic steps in the process.
- Start with your goals. Why have you decided to create an estate plan in the first place? What are your immediate and long-term objectives? Do you want to pass a part of your estate to charities and people who are less fortunate? Do you want to protect your assets from some immediate family members? These are some questions that you must answer before moving ahead.
- Get an attorney. Although it is not mandatory to hire an attorney, you should consult one before moving ahead with estate planning. Wills, trusts, powers of attorneys, living wills – There are numerous tools and documents to consider. While online services promote automation and quick legal services, expertise should only come from an attorney you can trust.
- Identify what you own. Before you start with an estate plan, make a list of all tangible and intangible assets that you own. You may have to spend some time to determine what all you own, but include everything that has value, including jewelry and personal possessions.
- Decide about your executor. Who would be that one person who handles everything after you are gone? It is not an easy decision, and you need someone who has the perseverance and time to do so. Your last will and testament is a key document of your estate plan, and you need an executor.
People often believe that they can wait until they retire to start with estate planning, which is a misconception. The Covid-19 pandemic has been an indicator that life can be quite unpredictable, and as someone responsible, you would want your family to own what you have. Not everyone wants to do the same with their wealth, which is precisely why they need an estate planning lawyer to advise on various matters. Contact a reliable attorney right away and ask questions related to your existing circumstances and personal wishes. You are never too young to have an estate plan.