Three Simple Tips for Estate Planning

July 16, 2015 Victor Medina Aging, Beneficiary Designation, Estate Planning 0 Comments

Overwhelmed by the prospect of estate planning? Don’t make a federal case out of it! (No, really, these are usually state-law matters!)

Everyone needs an estate plan but most American’s wait way too long to create one, often delaying until it’s too late. We don’t want that for your family, and neither do the reporters over at The Seattle Times. That’s why they recently broke estate planning into three simple steps — advice that we think is actually pretty easy to follow! Take a look:

1. Prepare to Plan

It’s called estate planning for a reason. Getting your ducks in a row is half the battle. You need good records. Your lawyer needs to be able to consult those records when working on your estate plan. Your family needs to know where those records are when you pass away.

What kinds of records, exactly? The Seattle Times suggests that you make a detailed list, including the following, at a minimum:

  • Professional & family contacts
  • Locations of any estate documents
  • Disability & life insurance policies
  • Home & auto insurance policies
  • Names of financial institutions, accounts, and account numbers
  • Credit cards
  • Beneficiaries of your retirement accounts
  • User names & passwords (including social media and photo accounts)

Conversations about aging and passing away aren’t always easy to have, especially where loved ones are involved. Challenging as it may be, though, it’s one of those conversations you simply need to have.

Conversations about aging and passing away aren’t always easy to have, especially where loved ones are involved. Challenging as it may be, though, it’s one of those conversations you simply need to have.

2. Talk the Talk

Estate planning is a family affair. Find out if your parents have taken care of their own documents and learn what they include. Coordinate your plans with your spouse’s. Make sure your children understand at least the basic provisions of your will and end-of-life instructions. You’ll also want to talk with anyone you plan to name as an executor, trustee, or guardian.

Conversations about aging and passing away aren’t always easy to have, especially where loved ones are involved. Challenging as it may be, though, it’s one of those conversations you simply need to have.

3. Walk the Walk

“Proactive planning requires careful consideration of possible future scenarios,” the Times concludes, “and a good understanding of yourself and your family.” The time to take action is now!

At Medina Law Group, we have many years of experience in helping clients of all ages formulate New Jersey estate plans designed to meet all their families’ needs. Talk to us about yours. Give us a call today.

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