Establishing who will receive your assets in the event of your death or incapacitation is the process of estate planning then in what ways an estate planning lawyer helps you inventory your assets? Here is simple estate planning that involves seven steps.
1. Inventory stuff for your assets
You could believe that your wealth is insufficient to enable estate planning. You could be shocked by the amount of material and intangible assets you have, though, if you start searching around.
Intangible assets that can be found in an estate include:
Automobiles, motorbikes, boats, homes, and other real estate are examples of real estate. Coins, artwork, antiques, and trading cards are examples of collectibles and additional personal items.
An estate’s intangible assets could comprise the following:
- Certificates of deposit, savings, and checking accounts
- Mutual funds, stocks, and bonds
- Insurance plans for life
- Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s offered by employers and IRAs
Savings accounts for healthcare
- Owning stock in a company
With the help of an estate lawyer, you can determine the value of your tangible and intangible assets after making an inventory of your assets. However, external valuations like this can be helpful for some assets:
- Recent home appraisals;
- Account statements;
- Financial statements
2. Beware of your family’s requirements with inventory assets
Consider ways to safeguard your family’s assets after your passing.
- Make sure you have enough life insurance – This will depend on your lifestyle, whether you’re married, and other reasons.
- When you create your will, choose a guardian for your children and a backup guardian, just in case. By doing this, you might avoid exorbitant family court battles that might deplete the assets in your estate.
Don’t assume that particular family members will be present or that they will share your aims and ideas for raising your children; instead, write down your wishes for the care of your children.
3. Estate lawyer will help you determine objectives
Important legal instructions are part of an estate plan that is full.
Trust may be necessary. You can designate a portion of your estate to go toward particular items while you’re still alive using a revocable living trust. Your chosen trustee can take over if you become ill or incapacitated.
A medical care directive, commonly referred to as a living will, outlines your preferences for medical treatment if you cannot do so for yourself.
If you become medically incapable of managing your finances, a durable financial power of attorney enables someone else to do so.
If the thought of giving everything to someone else worries you, a limited power of attorney may be helpful.
Think twice before granting someone power of attorney. Your financial security and possibly your life could be in their hands, literally.
4. Estate lawyer will help review your beneficiaries for the inventory of assets
- Verify your insurance and retirement accounts. Beneficiary designations are typically present in retirement plans and insurance policies, and you should maintain track of them and make any necessary updates.
- Ensure the proper individuals receive your materials. Sometimes people forget who they designated as beneficiaries on long-standing policies or accounts.
- Don’t omit any of the beneficiary parts. In that situation, an account’s distribution during probate may be determined by the state’s laws governing property distribution.
- List potential beneficiaries. If your primary beneficiary passes away before you forget to change the primary beneficiary designation, these backup beneficiaries will be crucial.
5. Note the state’s estate tax laws for inventory assets
- Estate planning is frequently a method of reducing inheritance and estate taxes. Most people, though, won’t pay those taxes.
- Estate taxes exist in several states, and thus, an estate that values below the federal government’s exemption limit may be subject to estate tax.
- There are inheritance taxes in some states, which implies that the individuals who receive your money may be required to pay taxes on it.
6. Weigh the value of professional help from an estate planning lawyer.
Your scenario will usually determine whether you need to work with an estate planning lawyer or an expert in estate taxes.
- If your estate is modest and your wishes are straightforward, a pre-written or online will-writing program can be all you need.
- It can be advisable to speak with an estate lawyer and possibly a tax expert if you have questions regarding the procedure.
- An estate lawyer and tax expert can assist in navigating the sometimes complex ramifications of big and complex estates, such as those with special childcare needs, business concerns, or heirs unrelated to the decedent.
7. Plan a reevaluation
- When your circumstances alter, whether for better or worse, review your estate plan. This could involve getting married or divorced, having a kid, losing a loved one, acquiring a new career, or getting fired.
- Even if your circumstances stay the same, periodically review your estate plan.