Estate planning has long been a dreaded activity mistakenly reserved for later in life. But the reality is that this is something that can benefit you in life and death and you should consider putting something in place NOW. This is especially true if you own any property, are married or have children. Doing a little now can not only save you and your loved ones stress and money down the line but is much quicker and easier than you probably think!
Here are some tips on how to get started on your estate plan:
- Take inventory: Real estate, stock, cars and jewelry are just a handful of things that you should start listing out and thinking about who you would want to have them in the event something happened to you. Think of this inventory as a type of gift giving!
- Have conversations: A conversation about who would manage your affairs or take care of your children in the future does not need to be morbid but it should take place. Not only will it make things go smoother (and how you would want them) but putting people on notice also helps them to prepare—even if they prepare for something that is decades down the line.
- Get in touch with an attorney: Whether you have lots of money or very little, working with an estate planning attorney can help effectuate your wishes and make sure you didn’t miss anything. For example, in addition to a living trust or will, have you thought about a durable power of attorney? These important items and much more take little time to put together and working with an experienced estate planning attorney can limit mistakes and save you time!
Just as your personal life, professional life and finances are constantly changing, so too should your estate plan. This is not a one and done activity but rather something that you should be tweaking every couple years (give or take) to make sure that it best reflects your situation and your wants. Getting one in place now will make those tweaks much easier down the road. If you are considering an estate plan, get in touch with an experienced estate planning attorney today.
Christopher B. Johnson is a Pasadena estate planning attorney that has been helping families and individuals just like you plan their personal and financial future for over 18 years. Whether you are looking for something simple or something complex, the Law Offices of Christopher B. Johnson can help. Contact us today to set up a consultation and let us help you begin planning for the future!