Tips for creating a quality estate plan

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | Wills

Estate planning is something that any adult living in Indiana can benefit from. For instance, having a medical directive makes it more likely that your wishes will be respected if you can’t talk to a doctor directly. Having a will or trust can help to ensure that your home or car goes to your preferred recipient.

A will is the foundation of the estate plan

A will is a document that everyone is encouraged to have in their estate plan even if they are single or don’t have kids. Alternatively, you can create a trust if you want something that will take effect immediately and holds assets outside of your estate. Having either of these documents gives you greater control over what happens to your things either when you pass or if you become incapacitated.

Steps to avoid probate

If you are keen on avoiding probate, there are a number of steps you can take in addition to creating a trust. For instance, you can attach beneficiary designations to life insurance policies or other financial assets. When you pass, these assets go directly to the beneficiary without the need for probate. You can also gift items during your lifetime to take them out of your estate before you lose control of what ultimately happens to those items.

Review your estate plan regularly

Ideally, you’ll plan an annual estate planning session even if there is no immediate reason to do so. This minimizes the risk that you forget to change a beneficiary form or take other steps before you can’t do so because of a cognitive decline or some other issue. You are also encouraged to review your estate plan after major life events such as the birth of a new child or a divorce.

Creating a comprehensive estate plan can be helpful during your lifetime as well as after you pass away. It may also ensure that your kids have proper guardians if something happens to you or that they have the resources needed to thrive as adults.