As we enter a new year, many people are thinking about doing their estate planning. This is the time of year when we often set goals and reassess what we want to accomplish.
If creating an estate plan is on your list, it’s time to carefully consider exactly what you want your estate plan to do — and how to ensure that those goals are accomplished.
Key tips for effective estate planning
Naturally, everyone has different needs and goals when drafting an estate plan. Yours will be unique. Even so, it can help to consider the following tips as you get this underway:
- Consider what medical decisions you’d make for yourself. If you’re unable to make them, you need a plan to ensure they’re met. An advance directive can give instructions to the doctors, for instance, while a medical power of attorney gives someone else the power to make those choices.
- Decide if you want to use a trust. If you are looking for more control than a will can provide, a trust is often the best way to get it.
- Talk to your children and other beneficiaries. Tell them what you’re planning, ask for feedback, and find out what they’re expecting. The whole process usually goes more smoothly when they’re involved.
- Don’t put it off. The main reason that most people don’t have an estate plan is just that they decide they’ll make the plan later. Don’t delay. Get your plan in place today so that you know it will be there for your family whenever it’s needed.
Is an estate plan on your list of things to do this year? If so, speak to an experienced attorney about your goals and learn more about your options.