Having an estate plan is something you should do if you have children, property, or any valuable assets that need to be passed on after your death. Unfortunately, some people do not have a proper estate plan in place before it is too late. In order to ensure that all your affairs will be in order, ask yourself these 3 questions.
Will Your Kids Be Protected?
The most important part of an estate plan is making sure that there are proper arrangements made for your kids. Your top priority will be deciding on their living arrangement if they are minors when you pass away. Custody battles can tear families apart, so having this predetermined will prevent many arguments from occurring.
You will also want to decide when and how they receive any inheritances that you leave for them. Some people prefer to set up a trust fund that is dependent on them using the money to go to college, or setting up a way to protect their inheritance from future spouses in a divorce.
Not deciding how these two things will be handled will make it difficult for your children after you pass away.
Who Takes Responsibility For Your Personal Healthcare?
In the unfortunate circumstance that you become ill and cannot make decisions about your personal healthcare, you will need to delegate the power to somebody that you can trust. Part of a properly set up estate plan is creating your living will that determines who decides any medical action that needs to be done.
It is best to pick somebody that is over 18 to make these decisions on your behalf, especially if your children are still minors.
What Happens To Your Assets?
Your estate is made up of money that you have in the bank, investments, land, and personal property that you own. All of these things will need to be divided among your family and friends before your death, or else it will be up to the courts to decide who gets what. The decision of the court is final, and they might not make the best decision for you.
You may want to work with an family law attorney to help divide your assets. They will help come up with a plan that minimizes the total amount of taxes that will need to be paid by those that receive your inheritance.
By asking yourself these 3 questions, you will know if you are well-prepared with a proper estate plan in place.