As you enter the gray years of your life, it becomes more and more important
for you to draft an
estate plan that will take care of your family upon your passing. The same can also
be said if you have started your own business or come into a sizeable
amount of money. Although this process should feel necessary for everyone,
many people do not even know where to begin and risk leaving the future
of their loved ones up to the dispassionate decision of a court judge.
If you want to make sure that your estate plan stays true to your intentions
and includes all important aspects of your assets and property,
be sure to follow these five steps.
Get a Professional Estate Planning Attorney
You wouldn't climb halfway up Everest before deciding you need a Sherpa's
help; why would you try to plan an estate without a lawyer's assistance?
The truth is that every step of this process is critical, from beginning
to end, and a single mistake can have serious negative consequences. Before
you get ahead of yourself, get help from a trustworthy, knowledgeable source.
Know What You Will Need
With your estate planning lawyer, take some time to go over your options
and discuss what you might need to include.
Should you be creating a will, or a trust? What do you want to pass on and what would you like to sell off beforehand?
Consider any important topic that comes to mind, such as who will be your
estate administrator, who inherits what and why, and who will get your
power of attorney should you become incapacitated.
If you have yet to get a lawyer, now is definitely the time to reconsider.
Estate planning can be an extremely technical process that hinges entirely
on the finest of details. If you miss crucial information while planning
your estate – like the true value of your business, for example
– your whole will or trust could be rendered invalid. More or less,
you are going to need to know the history of every portion of your estate,
and collecting this info alone is daunting, at best.
Put It In Writing
Perhaps the most important step in this entire process, the actual creation
of your will or trust will require a keen eye for detail and the utmost
care. The wording of your legal documents must be just so; otherwise,
errors could be discovered after your passing and those errors could be
exploited. You will also need to provide a few signatures when appropriate.
The wise choice is to find an estate planning attorney who understands
your needs and intentions, let them draft your will, and then review it
when they are finished. Together, the two of you can work out the details
and get it just right.
Keep It Up to Date
An all-too-common mistake that people make after finalizing their estate
plan is thinking that it is indeed final. Major life events, such as the
birth of a child, marriage and divorce, bankruptcy, and even death, can
have significant impacts on your estate plan that need to be addressed
as soon as possible. If there were any large changes in your life, double-check
with your attorney to ensure your will or trusts are still legally intact.
If you are thinking about creating your estate plan, let a Springfield,
MO estate planning attorney from
Worsham Law Firm be the ones to assist and guide you. With two decades of legal experience
and a flawless 10.0 "Superb" Avvo Rating, you know you can trust
our lead attorney, Mr. Will Worsham, to handle your case professionally
and efficiently. Call
417.658.4172 today to schedule a
free case evaluation.