Although everyone’s time will come eventually, most people do not want to think about the end of their lives. Because they keep putting it off for too long, many people die each year without having gone through estate planning. Without estate planning, a person’s final wishes may not be honored properly, and the state could end up deciding on how their estate is dispersed. For additional reading, continue below.
What Is Estate Planning?
Many people become confused when it comes to estate planning because they are unsure of what it entails. Without reading Estate Planning FAQs and Myths | California Estate Planning Attorneys, many people mistakenly believe estate planning is only for those with large estates or a lot of money. Knowing what is involved in the process of estate planning is critical for ensuring a person is prepared.
In its simplest of terms, according to realtimecampaign.com, estate planning is simply deciding who gets what from an estate after the owner dies. No matter how large or small, everyone owns an estate. In most cases, estate planning is carried out with the help of an attorney. The process is fairly straightforward, but can sometimes be lengthy, depending on the size of the person’s estate.
How to Get Started on Estate Planning
Before meeting with an attorney for estate planning, it is imperative a person gathers their financial records, including tax forms, property deeds, receipts, and information on their bank accounts and retirement savings. The more information a person can provide the attorney, the more effective the meeting. The meeting with the estate planning attorney will allow individuals to ask questions and learn more about the process and what is involved. There are several steps involved in estate planning and they include the following.
The will is an essential part of the estate planning process. It will name the individual’s final wishes so they can be honored by the courts. In the will, the individual will name an executor. This person is responsible for paying any owed debts and distributing the assets according to the stipulations of the will.
It is important a person names their beneficiaries or the court will decide. It is wise for people to bring in the contact information of each beneficiary, including their social security number and address. This information will be used by the courts and executor for locating the heirs and informing them of the assets being given to them.
The attorney will help their client draw up a power of attorney and a healthcare directive. They will help to organize and protect all the client’s files and will work to help them avoid any estate taxes that may be owed upon their death. There are many attorneys out there, such as CunninghamLegal, all of them help clients through the entire process.
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Those who die without a will in place or an advanced health directive can end up having others make decisions for them. Estate planning allows a person to remain in control of what happens if they become incapacitated or they die. With the help of an attorney, this process is much easier.