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7 Surprisingly Useful Tips for A Well-Structured Estate Plan

Updated on August 16, 2021 | by Alex Smith

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If you think estate planning is something that only wealthy people do, you need to think again. It includes many other things than just wills and testaments. 

Planning your estate helps you better manage your final wishes and reduce the problems and stress of your family after you have passed. Estate planning has never been easier, especially when you can hire an estate planning attorney to help you. 

To lend you a helping hand, here are seven tips to successfully plan your estate. 

Also Read: Real Estate Email Marketing Tips

Document Your Wishes for a Better Understanding

 It’s essential to evaluate your assets and possessions to make a better decision while drafting your will. Make sure you document your wishes of what should happen to your estate after your death. 

Try to be as particular as possible to avoid any confusion and mishaps. Here are some of the things that you need to mention in your estate plan:

  • Financial power of attorney
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Living will
  • Testament

Carefully Determine Guardianship for Dependants.

If people are dependent on you, you need to determine who will be their guardians after your death. If you don’t do it, the state will decide who will have the legal guardianship of your children or any other people that depend on you. 

Make sure you take the consent of the guardian individual or couple before putting their name for the guardianship in your estate plan. Consult your estate planning attorney if you plan to assign custody to a married couple, as it can create complications if they get a divorce.

Consider Trusts to Assign and Distribute Assets Effectively

Trusts are protected assignments of money and other assets to the individual you decide. An effective trust is a great medium to allocate our assets and distribute them the way you want, without any problems or confusion. Don’t forget to consult with your estate attorney to create structured trusts.

Consult a Team of Professionals

Professionals like estate attorneys, financial advisors, and tax professionals help you create an effective estate plan consistent with your wishes and requirements. These professionals guide you through different stages of drafting a well-structured estate plan. Make sure you maintain transparency about your assets and how you want them distributed among your heirs.

Consider State and Federal Estate Taxes

If your estate is liable to any state or federal taxes, you need to determine how to pay the estate taxes on your property. You need to pay the estate taxes in cash, so this might be a problem if you do not have enough cash lying around. 

You may have to sell a part of your estate you were planning to leave behind for an heir. So, consult your estate planning attorney and estate tax professional to make the right decision about estate taxes.

Update Your Beneficiaries.

The money you have in your accounts with named beneficiaries will automatically go to those individuals regardless of what your estate plan says. 

Financial accounts such as IRA, insurance policies, 401(k), and even transfer-on-death accounts have named beneficiaries. Consider these beneficiaries while drafting your estate plan. Keep them updated and ensure your beneficiaries align with your estate plan to avoid confusion and conflicts. 

Remember to Add Your Digital Assets.

If you have bought digital currencies like crypto coins, or digital assets like photos, videos, and other IPs, you need to add them to your estate plan. 

You can designate a “digital fiduciary” to take care of your digital assets and decide what to do with your online presence, like social media. 

Estate planning is one of the essential tasks of your lifetime. A well-structured estate plan will ensure your assets are distributed the way you want them. It’s the best way to decide how you leave your legacy behind, while also ensuring your loved ones are sufficiently cared for even after your death. 

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