Facing the potential end of their lives can be very challenging for some. It isn't something that they want to focus on. However, if they engage in estate planning early, it can actually provide a sense of comfort because they'll know that their future and the future of their descendants is taken care of. A Certified Financial Planner offered advice to those who want to get started. She began by underlining how important it is to get things started while someone is still sharp and competent.
One key step is to locate all of the relevant documents that will be needed in the estate planning process. Adult children can help their parents in that regard by simply asking their parents if they know where those documents are. Some parents may have all the papers together and in good order. Others may need help to find and organize everything.
Looking into the status of a will is important too. The will can be very simple, addressing to whom assets will go. Some might go to relatives and others to friends. Everything from money to material possessions should be clearly covered in the will. If there is a lot of money involved or sons and daughters from multiple marriages the estate planning may need to get more involved.
A living trust is another possibility worth looking into. It can be used while the person is still alive and allows for the probate process to be bypassed. When the person's life ends, assets are distributed to beneficiaries by the trustee he or she chooses.
These are only some of the issues involved in estate planning. There are many others that apply to each person's case. It's a good idea to have estate planning documents reviewed by a legal professional to make sure everything is covered.
Source: boston.cbslocal.com, "All About Estate Planning" Dee Lee, Jun. 13, 2014