Having an idea of what you’d like your estate plan to do is a great first step to creating the plan itself. Setting goals will help you identify the tools you need to make the estate plan right for you.
And although no two estate plans are the same, there are some basic objectives that are common across the board:
- Maintain the value of your assets. This is actually one of the primary goals that many people have when they consider estate planning.
- Provide for your family in the event of death or disability. Will your family have the financial support they need when you’re no longer around? Creating an estate plan is a good way to ensure they do.
- Naming a guardian for minor children.. If something should happen to you before your children are old enough to care for themselves, your estate plan ensures you’ll have a say in who raises your children.
- Naming the executor for your estate. Having an estate plan allows you to decide who will oversee your estate and the distribution of your assets.
- Naming your heirs. It’s your property – you should get to decide who gets what. An estate plan gives you that ability.
- Minimize taxes and legal fees. Depending upon how you construct your estate plan, it is possible to minimize taxes and in some instances, avoid probate and all the fees that go with it.
Once you’ve identified your estate planning goals, a qualified estate planning attorney can help you identify which goals are obtainable, and advise you on aspects of your estate plan that you may have overlooked.