Estate planning is not just for high net worth families; it is required by every individual. With a proper and current estate plan, you can dramatically reduce the added strain to your executor caused by the legal and financial issues surrounding the settling of an estate.
A few simple questions can help you to determine if you are on the right track:
Setting your goals and objectives
Have you specified how your assets are to be distributed?
Will there be a source of income for your family when you die?
Will there be a source of income if you are disabled?
Do you know your income at retirement?
Do you know the tax exposure on your estate?
Do you know how taxes will be paid?
Taking an inventory of your estate
Are all of your important papers together?
Does your executor know where they are located?
Do you have a will?
Do you need/have a trust agreement?
Do you have a buy-sell agreement for your business?
Do you have a current net worth statement?
Have you chosen your executor and informed them of your choice?
Have you explained your expectations?
Have you made funeral plans?
Have you discussed them with your family?
Have you had a family meeting to talk about your estate plan?
Has your family met your professional advisors?
Does your family know you you’ve appointed as your executor?
Is your life insurance beneficiary information up-to-date?
After a recent family death, the importance of being organized was made apparent. Easing your family’s burden in the event of your pre-mature passing can be a gift to your loved ones.