Failing to account for how you want your assets to be dispersed following your death could create a serious headache for your surviving family members. While no one wants to think about their own passing, estate planning is an important task that shouldn't be avoided.
Here are three simple things that you can do to get started with the estate planning process in order to ensure the proper distribution of your assets in the future.
1. Determine who you want to inherit property.
The first step in the estate planning process should be determining who you want to inherit your property. Many individuals assume that their children will be able to divide any real estate or financial assets equally after they pass away, but this often isn't the case.
Unless you specifically designate who you want to inherit your property (and what type of property you want each individual to receive), surviving family members have no way of knowing what property they are entitled to. This can create contention and unrest among surviving family members, but taking the time to determine who you want to inherit before you pass can prevent family drama.
2. Think about how you want your money spent.
In addition to determining who you want to inherit your property after your passing, you should also think about how you want any money that you leave to your heirs to be spent. If you want your children to use some of the inheritance to pay for college, pay off their mortgage, or dissolve any medical bills, you need to stipulate these wishes in your will.
You can work with your attorney to determine the best way to ensure your heirs spend the money they receive from your estate as you would want them to in the future.
3. Set money aside to pay off your debt.
Many of the debts that you incur during life will be inherited by your surviving family members. This can place a significant financial burden on your heirs, so you should create a special account that can be used to pay off debt as you complete the estate planning process.
This account could be a life insurance policy, a savings account, or some other type of financial account. Be sure that you consult with your attorney to determine the best way to leave money for your heirs to pay off your debts.
Once you are able to begin the estate planning process by determining who will inherit, how the money you leave behind should be used, and how much will be needed to pay off your debts, creating a will becomes a lot easier. For more information, contact companies like Valentine & Valentine PC.