Remember These 4 Things When Estate Planning

If you're like many people, you aren't exactly sure what needs to be done when planning your estate. A lot of decisions must be made, but it's important that you focus on some key issues that are important to your family after you pass away. Here are some things to ensure you remember when doing estate planning.

Choosing a Suitable Executor

Choosing an executor for your estate may seem like the easiest part of planning your estate. You might imagine that your spouse or eldest child can take on the job without much difficulty. However, it is vital that you put yourself in the position of your loved ones during that time. They likely will be grieving and perhaps unwilling to take on such responsibilities.

Talk to your family about whether they want to be your executor, but seriously consider designating an objective professional to act in that role instead.

Tell People about Your Plans

To avoid family squabbles and disagreements after you pass away, make sure that you talk to your family and friends about what your plans are. Tell them why you divided assets the way you did, and why you want certain people to receive certain assets. Allow them to ask you questions about the choices you've made, so that there is no dispute later on. Talking to your loved ones now prepares them for what is to come.

Don't Assume Everyone will be Fair

You might have more than one child, but have only listed one child as your beneficiary on your life insurance policy. You may assume they will split assets fairly among themselves and siblings. However, that can lead to trouble. Whenever you have more than one beneficiary, list all of them on documents and in policies. That way, you can be sure that assets are divided equally and according to your desires.

Update Your Plans as Necessary

It's important that you regularly update your will, beneficiary lists and other estate plan details on a regular basis. If you have a falling out with someone, don't wait to remove them from any documents that may give them some of your assets. If you have a grandchild, don't forget to include them in your estate planning as soon as necessary. This allows your plans to always be accurate, so that arguments can be avoided later.

Now that you know what to focus on when planning your estate, you can ensure that your final wishes are adhered to. Work with an estate planning professional to be confident that you have done everything necessary to secure your family's future.