How to protect your heirs with your estate plan
Proper estate planning can protect your family now and in the future. However, many people think they can just create an estate plan and never look at it again. This is simply not the case.
There are several factors to consider when creating an estate plan and when you are reviewing and updating your estate plan. You should review and update your estate plan every 10 years or after a major life change like marriage, divorce or adding family members.
Estate plans can be tailored to fit your specific needs. It is important to understand your family's goals to help you address all of your needs now and in the future.
What are the factors you should consider before creating or updating your estate plan? Listed below are several issues to think about and discuss:
- How to distribute your assets and estate. Dying without a will allows the state to determine who your assets and estate are distributed. If you have kids, the state will decide who will care for them.
- Review beneficiaries. Make updates as necessary when it comes to your will, trust, life insurance and other accounts.
- Do you need a trust? A trust can protect your wealth for your family as well as place stipulations for your heirs if you decide.
- Consider the tax implications and work with an attorney to protect your assets.
Taking action now can prevent mistakes and headaches for you and your family down the road. While it can be difficult to plan for your family after you pass away, addressing these issues now will make life easier for your loved ones.
Source: HCP Live, "6 Action Steps to Protect Your Heirs and Cut Estate Taxes," Dave Denniston, March 6, 2015