After your passing, what happens to your family? How do they cater to themselves when you are no more? These are the things you should consider when planning your estate. A good estate plan is one that is not only designed to protect and cater to the estate owner, but the loved ones as well.
If you are keen on creating an estate plan that protects your family, this article is for you. Below we have highlighted a few tips on how to go about that.
Protecting your family with estate planning
Draft a will
If you die without creating a will your estate will be shared based on the law of intestacy. This can result in delays and be expensive for your family. Intestacy laws are unlikely to be according to your wishes and may mean that some of your preferred beneficiaries do not receive any of your assets or they could receive more or less than you intended.
In the will you’ll draft, you must ensure that you indicate how you want your dependent to be catered to. If you are leaving assets to children or grandchildren, a competent estate planning attorney may suggest that you consider leaving them in a trust for them. That way, it’ll bypass the time-consuming and stressful probate process.
Create a durable power of attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate one or more individuals who will make important decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. The POA can make decisions in line with the authority granted in the lasting power of attorney, like making decisions about your property, finances, health, and welfare.
Having a POA in place gives you peace of mind that an individual you trust can manage your affairs if required.
Outline your assets
The easiest way to ensure that your family is aware of all your assets is by creating a list. Your list should consist of pensions, ISAs, cash accounts, property, including physical possessions. In addition, the list should any debt or liabilities that need to be settled after your death, for instance if you have a personal loan or credit cards debt.
Consolidate your assets
You can make life less stressful for your family by consolidating your assets before you die. For instance, if you have several bank accounts or ISAs you could consolidate into one bank account and one ISA to lessen the amount of paperwork that they have to go through when you pass on. This will also make it less difficult for you to monitor your assets and performance.
Ensure that your spouse can easily access your money
Your accounts will be frozen when your estate undergoes probate and probate can be time-consuming. This means your spouse will need enough money in their own name to spend while your assets are frozen. You could either ensure that they have an account in their own name or open a joint account. They may be able to access your pension before the probate process starts if it is stated in the trust.
Need an estate planning attorney?
Due to the complexities that surrounds the estate planning process, you may need the services of an estate planning attorney. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you should be able to not only plan your estate but update the plan later in the future.
An estate planning attorney can also offer you and your family valuable advice that could end up being a lifesaver. In addition, he can help in setting up various important legal estate planning documents like a power of attorney, healthcare directives, a living trust, etc.
If you want to plan your estate, and you need the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, please, don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, if you need help with updating your estate plan, you can contact our office as well. We boast of competent estate planning attorney who can help in creating an estate plan that suits your needs.