The topic of estate planning doesn't always evoke feelings of fun and excitement. However, it is something that, if addressed, can offer families tremendous peace of mind. What holds most people back from embarking on the estate planning process is the complicated nature of it all.
It is true that planning for the future and securing your assets before death may feel overwhelming. But there is a way you can simplify this reality. All it takes is absorbing quality information and taking the recommended steps.
Start keeping good records
Maintaining good records is one of the single most important things you can do to make life easier for everyone. It is highly valuable to have records of titles, deeds, financial statements, reports and anything else pertaining to your assets available. If you do not already have these items on-hand, contact the necessary people to acquire a certified copy right away. After you have a hard-copy, technology makes it easy to convert these items into digital format. When you have a digital copy, your loved-ones are better able to access the necessary documents after your death.
Communicate with your loved ones
Good communication with your family will help put everyone on the same page as far as your expectations and wishes. A common problem with family members after a parent dies is a lack of clear and congruent information relating to assets and inheritance. Think clearly about the questions you want to ask your loved ones and their opinions as you decide on what to pass down, how much and to whom.
Don't put it off
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to put off estate planning for some uncertain day in the future. It is in your best interest to start the process by gathering information and discussing matters with your family and a reputable estate planning attorney. You can alleviate uncertainty by securing yourself with a plan of action. Not only will your questions be answered, but you will have personalized guidance moving forward with your plan.
Estate planning is much easier when you keep good records, communicate with your family and act on developing your estate plan. You and your family will have a clear and succinct direction to take when assessing what's left behind after you pass. Nothing compares to peace of mind when it comes to the assets you have worked hard for and the family that you value so much.