Estate planning is the process of preparing for the transfer of your assets and property after your death. It can also be used to plan for the care of your minor children and to appoint a legal guardian in the event that you are unable to do so. Our team can help you put together the right estate plan for you and your family to ensure your estate’s protection well into the future. Here are the six basic steps to the estate planning process:
Verifying Your Goals and Needs
The first step is to sit down with an attorney and discuss your goals and needs. This initial consultation is important in order to ensure that your estate planning attorney understands what you want to accomplish. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions and get to know the attorney you’ll be working with throughout the process.
Organize Assets and Property
After you’ve established your goals, your attorney will need a list of all your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, stocks and investments, life insurance policies, and anything else of value. This list will be used to determine what needs to be included in your estate plan.
Reassess Goals and Needs
After your attorney has reviewed your assets, you’ll need to go over your goals and objectives again. This step is important to ensure that your estate plan meets all your needs. You may find that some of your initial goals have changed or that you need to add additional provisions to your estate plan.
Draft Estate Planning Documents
Once all your goals and needs have been reassessed, your attorney can begin drafting the documents that will make up your estate plan. These documents may include a last will and testament, trusts, Powers of Attorney, advance directives, and more.
Enact the Estate Plan
After your documents have been drafted, you’ll need to sign them in front of a notary public. Once they’re properly signed and witnessed, your estate plan will be officially in effect. Enacting your plan may include officially transferring assets into trusts or signing documents to ensure your plan works for you.
Update Your Plan When Needed
Your estate plan is not set in stone. As your life changes, so too will your goals and needs. It’s important to review your estate plan periodically and make changes as necessary. You should also update your estate plan if you experience any major life changes, such as getting married, having children, or buying a new home.
Estate planning is an important process that everyone should go through, regardless of the size of their estate. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process and establish an estate plan that fits exactly what you need. Contact us today at 303-557-2011 for more information.