Estate Planning: Where to Begin
It is a deeply rewarding and satisfying feeling to achieve your goals. Landing a new job, securing a promotion, making a down payment on your dream home; these are things that most people can only day dream about.
After you get a proper foothold on your future, it’s important to consider estate planning – as we've mentioned before. There is more to planning your estate than asset distribution and your medical wishes, though, especially if you’re a young professional.
Culture is changing, and people that achieve success in their youth typically have different priorities than people in previous generations. You may want to consider the following during discussions with your attorney.
Plan for your pets
It’s no secret that this generation of young people love their pets. The Washington Post reported that 75 percent of Americans in their 30s have dogs, and over 50 percent have cats, according to a survey released by the research firm Mintel.
Take time to include a section in your will on what should be done with your pet should something happen to you. Legally, pets are personal property, and there is no telling what may become of them if you are suddenly in a catastrophic accident.
Plan for children, even if you might not have them
In addition to loving their pets, the current generation is also having children later in life. Even if you haven’t made the decision to have children, or even found a partner yet, it is a good idea to designate a guardian for your children. Even if they have not been born yet, or you may not ever have them, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Draft and assemble your documents
Having conversations with your family and friends is a good way to let them know what your wishes are in the event of the unthinkable. A conversation over dinner does not often hold up in court, however. Make sure that all your wishes are well documented and organized in a place your attorney will have access to.
The same goes for other key documents like tax returns, mortgage documents, your will, social security cards, birth certificates, life insurance policies and property and car titles. It is often the best idea to keep all your key documents together in a secure location to prevent confusion should you be unable to speak.
Similarly, know what you want to have done should you suddenly pass away. You are in the process of achieving success and building a legacy; how will you want it to be remembered? Will you be buried with your wedding ring? Would prefer to be cremated? Do you want to be buried in a family plot? Would you like to not be buried in your family plot? These are important details to consider.
Having a plan is always a good idea. When it comes to something as broad as estate planning, it can be easy to forget about certain things. Remember these four details, and consider what other aspects of your estate may slip through the cracks if you don’t act.
Contact our firm today!