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Caring for Future Generations: Four Tips for Planning Your Will

Written by Adams

There comes a time in your life when you need to tackle the important issue of estate planning. According to a 2012 survey published by financial media website, only a little over a third of individuals in the United States have prepared a will. This is a troubling statistic for many reasons; first of all, you must realize that once your property and assets become your estate after you pass away, tax collectors and creditors will come knocking on the doors of your surviving relatives, which means that your spouse and children could inherit headaches. Here are a few tips for planning your estate.

Retain a Probate Attorney

Probate is a legal process that essentially handles your estate through the courts when you are no longer around. Probate law firms like Leon J Teichner& Associates, P.C. and similar groups focus on managing your estate, executing your wishes and protecting the interests of your heirs. Working with a probate lawyer should be the first step of your estate planning journey; depending on your asset situation, an attorney may recommend setting up a trust versus creating a will for the purpose of protecting your assets and minimizing your tax liability.

Think About Your Memorial

As much as possible, you should not leave all your memorial affairs to your survivors. It is very likely that they will try to spend a lot on your last goodbye; granted, this is for their benefit, but if you would like to keep things simple, you should state so in your will.

Consider Life Insurance

This is a ruefully overlooked aspect of estate planning. If your age, health condition, occupation, and lifestyle allow it, you should strongly consider purchasing life insurance. If you do not have enough assets to pay off your debts in life, chances are that your heirs may not be able to enjoy any of your estate; this is why you should consider life insurance as part of estate planning. A financial planner or a probate attorney can help you decide between term and whole life insurance and figure out if you can afford the premiums.

Healthcare Directives and Power of Attorneys

You should consider the possibility of becoming completely incapacitated before you pass away. If you fall into a coma, you will not be able to manage your assets or make end-of-life decisions in certain jurisdictions; for this reason, you should think about executing documents that indicate your wishes and who should handle your affairs when your health deteriorates.

Above all, your estate planning should be as selfless as possible; in other words, your decisions now should focus on making life for your loved ones as easy as possible after your departure.

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