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Understand what you need to include in an estate plan

A lot of people wish they could live forever; however, this isn't something that is going to happen. Since you know that death will occur at some point, now is the time to get things together so that your loved ones know what to do with your assets when you aren't here to use them any longer.

One thing that you need to do is to create an estate plan. This plan must include instructions for how you are going to distribute your assets. When you think of assets, you are thinking of things of value or things that your loved ones might fight over. For example, you need to state who gets the car and house, but you should also include instructions for the green stained glass butterfly that your family members all say they want.

There are some assets that aren't part of the estate plan. These are ones that have a payable on death clause. Bank accounts and life insurance policies are two of these assets. When you opened the bank account or took out the life insurance policy, you designated a person to get the money when you die. This is what will be followed when you are gone.

Don't think that the estate plan is limited only to telling your loved ones who is going to get which assets. While this is a major component of estate planning, it isn't the only component. You can also name guardians for minor children and outline what you want to happen in your final days as far as health care is concerned. Thinking carefully about all of these is imperative if you want to save your loved ones some stress when you die.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Estate Planning?," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
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