Estate planning is far more than just writing a will. That is a good first step, but it usually needs to go far beyond that. You really have to consider your family, your assets and your vision for the future of both. There are many useful tools that give you elements of control you may never have considered before.
To understand what your plan needs, just dig a bit deeper by asking these questions:
- What will happen to my minor children? You can name a guardian for them in the estate plan so that you know a trusted person is there to fill your parental role.
- What plans do I need to make for my health? Estate planning can address health concerns long before death by using a health care advance directive, a medical power of attorney and things of this nature.
- What if my heirs are too young to inherit? To leave money to children and other young beneficiaries, you may want to use a trust to determine at what age they get the assets.
- How much will I need to pay in taxes? Regardless of the answer, which varies depending on your estate, there are typically tools you can use to reduce that tax burden.
- How much control do I want over my estate? Some people just want to leave their assets and let their family members make decisions. Others want strict control over how money is used. Either way, you can find proper solutions.
These are just five questions to get you started. Be sure you explore all of the legal options you have.