Plenty of people who thought they had everything in place so that whatever they leave behind when they pass away is cared for and distributed according to his wishes actually end up mistaken. Sadly, this mistake is often realized when the person who owns the estate has already passed away and is unable to answer whatever disputes or issues that might arise out of his estate plan. If you think that estate planning is only for those who have a lot of properties and resources, you are wrong. Estate planning applies to whatever size of estate you may have whether small or large. You can learn a lot about the experiences of heirs and estate executors who are left with having to settle estates with a host of issues attached to them. There are ways through which you can ensure that your estate is handled exactly the way you wish to when you move on to the next life.
Here are some important considerations you might want to pay careful attention to:
Your family situation, your ownerships, and tax laws among others could change. It is important that your estate plan is kept up to date with all of these and other pertinent conditions that might affect its execution. You want to be able to review your estate plan at least once a year. Make it a part of your annual financial planning. This way, you can also re-evaluate your wishes as to how your bequests and other properties are to be handled.
Your minor children would need to have guardians who will look after their best interest. You do not want to leave your children without any adult to guide them through until they are of age. You want to assign a guardian who will be able to give them the kind of care and guidance you would not be able to give them anymore. Guardianship is a tricky matter. While it would seem that the closest adult relative should have guardianship, they are not necessarily the best people to act as guardians to your children. Choose your children’s guardians carefully and make sure that they will be able to provide a healthy, happy, and fruitful life for your children when you are no longer around. Aside from a guardian to take physical care of your children, you also want to assign a guardian to take care of managing your estate and investing your children’s money until such time as the children would be able to legally make their own decisions.
You can be rendered unable to make important decisions before you even pass away. Mental or physical incapacity could happen to anyone. When this happens, you want to have someone you trust to make your decisions for you. Include Powers of Attorney in your estate plan to designate a trusted person to make decisions concerning medical directives as well as properties when you are held incapacitated.
There are more convenient and less costly alternatives to a will. While it is important to have a document designating and instructing your heirs as to the disposition of your assets after your death, using a will to do this could take a long while to execute everything and could cost your heirs a great amount of money. You can actually consult with a financial planner on how you can use a revocable trust instrument as a testamentary instrument. There are various types of revocable trusts that you can use as an estate planning tool that does away with income or estate taxes.