When Should An Estate Planning Begin?

Posted by smith clea on October 2nd, 2022

What are your long-term goals?

Is it to give your children the best education and upbringing possible?

Do you want to leave enough behind so that your family can enjoy retirement?

Or do you want to help support your favorite causes after your death?

There are many reasons people start estate planning, but there’s one thing every estate plan has in common:

It’s better to start sooner rather than later.

5 Most Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of creating a plan for how your assets will be distributed after you die.

Here are five commonly asked questions about estate planning, and some insight into why these questions may arise:

  • How much does it cost to do an estate plan?
  • What happens if I don't have an estate plan in place when I die?
  • Who should I include in my will or trust?
  • Do I need a living trust as well as a will?
  • What does probate mean, and why would I want to avoid it?

7 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Attorney

No one likes to think about their mortality, but estate planning is an important step to take to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you're gone.

Here are seven questions you should be asking your attorney when you begin the estate planning process:

  1. What type of assets do I have?
  2. Who would inherit my assets if I die without a will or trust in place?
  3. Is there a special tax I can use to make sure my heirs don't have to pay any taxes on what they inherit from me if I die without a will or trust in place?
  4. Will my assets go through probate court?
  5. What kind of trusts are available for me to set up and why should I choose one over another?
  6. How do I decide how much money will go into which trust account at death and how much goes to my heirs at death?
  7. When should I change my beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement accounts if I am already older than 50 years old?

How To Create An Estate Plan Checklist

Determine what assets you have and where they are located.

This includes bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, personal property, and life insurance policies.

Gather important documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, wills, trusts, tax returns, and asset deeds.

Choose a person or persons to handle your affairs in the event of your death or incapacity.

This may be a spouse, child, sibling, friend, or professional fiduciary.

The executor will need all the information from step one when it is time to settle your estate, including any passwords for online accounts and access to any safe deposit boxes.

The executor should also know about any debt that you owe on credit cards or other loans.

The executor will work with an attorney who can help them avoid probate court proceedings by establishing a living trust or making sure that all necessary paperwork is filed with the court before your passing away.

About The Author

Clea Smith is a USA-based author on Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust, business law, and elder law. Clea Smith does her best writing on these topics that help users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning attorney, probate, living trust vs will, and more about legal family issues.

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smith clea
Joined: February 6th, 2020
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