If you have any assets that you could call an estate, whether it’s property, savings, stocks or something else, you need to get organized. Unless you write a legal document specifying what you want to happen to your estate upon your death, the law will decide who gets what. As well as thinking about what will happen to your property when you die, you can also make decisions about it now. Not only can you make arrangements for the present, but you can ensure that you know what will happen if you’re mentally or physically unable to care for your estate. Here’s how to make sure your estate goes where you want it to.
Making Arrangements for Life and Death
Although a lot of people think about who will get their assets when they pass away, not everyone gives as much thought to what will happen to their estate before then. There’s a chance that you may be unable to care for your property while you’re still alive. And even when you still can, you want to be able to protect and manage your assets now. If you wish to do all of these things at once, your best bet is a revocable living will. It allows you to make plans for now and the future, whether you’re living or not.
You choose a trustee to manage your estate, which could be you or anyone else. If it’s you, you can name someone else to become trustee if you are no longer able. To set up a living trust, you’ll need to fill in living trust forms and other documents. You might find that buying computer software will make the process easier and give you all the forms you need. You can set up different kinds of trust, such as single, joint or A/B Trusts.
Create a Will
If you don’t think a living trust is for you, the option a lot of people use is creating a will. A living trust might be better if you have a larger estate, so you might not feel that it’s necessary. A will allows you to outline who you want your assets to go to when you die. You can also specify who will become guardian for any children under your care. If you don’t create a will, the law will determine who gets any assets you own upon your death. It’s likely that would be a husband, wife or child, then other relatives. If you want your assets to go to someone else, or you want to decide how they’re divided, you need a will.
It’s not very difficult to create a last will. You can find a template to help you get started to make sure you include all the necessary information. Remember that your will isn’t valid unless it’s signed and dated, as well as witnessed.
It’s essential to make plans for your estate if you want to provide for your family, friends or even charities you support. No matter who you want to benefit, it’s up to you to make sure your wishes are fulfilled.
Category: Estate Plan Trusts