Estate planning is more than simply writing a will, although that is an extremely important part of estate planning. Planning for a time after your death might be a morbid thought process to undertake, but it is important to organize your estate in advance of death in order to make the process simpler for those ultimately involved in the administration process. It also allows the future deceased to be extremely clear where and how the assets are to be distributed upon death. Even if death is not in the foreseeable future, having a plan already laid out will mean that you have complete control over the situation.
Assess Your Assets
If the majority of your assets are in liquid form in bank accounts, simply add whomever you have as your executor as joint on all bank accounts and investments. This will help to minimize the necessity for probate and will provide immediate access to all funds. Be certain the person you have listed as joint on all accounts is someone you trust as they will have full access to all money with their name attached to it.
Have a Say in Your Funeral Process
If you have personal preferences as to how you would like your funeral to be conducted and how your body is to be treated after death, be certain to outline this clearly in your estate plan. There is no communicating once you have passed on, so make your wishes and desires abundantly clear in advance.
Guarantee Business Continuity
If you play a major role in a business and your death would change the dynamic of daily operations, it is important to outline clearly what it is you would like to have happen with your share. It is not always possible to predict your death, accidents happen all the time. If you play an integral role in your business it is the responsible thing to do to set up a contingency plan for future operations in the event of your death.
Not Just for the Wealthy
Estate planning is not a task simply for the wealthy. Everyone should plan their estate, even if by just writing a simple will and having your say on who will be in charge of handling your estate once you are gone.
Planning for death is not a desirable topic of conversation. It is, however, a very realistic and intelligent conversation to have. No one is going to live forever, so by taking some time to do diligent estate planning while you are still capable, you can help ensure the future of your loved ones. The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management Ltd. offers estate planning and inheritance planning services to make the transition easier for your family.