No one wants to think about what will become of their assets and belongings when they’re gone, but estate planning can preserve your legacy and care for your family. Unfortunately, some people make the mistake of thinking only the uber-wealthy need estate planning. The truth is that anyone who has any financial assets, owns a home, or has a family that relies on them should make plans for when they’re gone. If you’ve been dragging your feet about estate planning, 2022 should be the year to get it done. These three steps can get you started.
Step #1: Take Inventory
The first step to estate planning is to take inventory of not just your investments but all of your assets, both tangible and intangible. What this means is taking stock of everything from property and real estate to cars and other vehicles, collecting all of the information on your savings accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies, and determining the estimated value of each of them.
Step #2: Determine Your Family’s Needs, Now and Later
The best way to protect your family when you’re gone is by understanding their needs. There are considerations such as whether you’re married, have children and how many, what lifestyle they’re accustomed to and would like to maintain, and whether you have life insurance. All of these will factor into how you take care of your family with your planning.
Step #3: Hire an Estate Planning Professional
One of the most important steps in estate planning is finding a professional who can help you through the process. Understanding the complexities of planning along with taxes and laws relating to estate planning in each state is critical to making sure your wishes get carried out as you want them to be. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC for a knowledgeable and experienced guide through the process.