Estate planning may seem like one of these dreadful but necessary tasks of adulthood. As such, it is something that quite a few folks put off and off, making it harder on themselves than it has to be.
So, what can you do to make estate planning easier on yourself and to get started as soon as possible?
Sit down and brainstorm
The thought of having to go into a lawyer’s office and have exhaustive discussions about your parents, children, assets, finances and so on can be tiring. It helps to organize your thoughts first, so set aside about 30 minutes to brainstorm. Type on your computer or jot down ideas using a pen. Consider issues such as your preferences if you could not live independently and what should happen with your house when you die and, if you have one, your business. What would you like to leave to your children, grandchildren and other parties? Are you worried about a child or grandchild who cannot manage money and who spends like there is no tomorrow? What should happen if you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself?
If you like, you can sort your thoughts with headers such as worries, wishes and finances–whatever makes sense to you.
Get a handle on your finances
Now it is time to make sure you know what is what with your finances. What retirement plans, investments, assets, business interests and so on do you have? With this information in hand, it is possible some of your ideas may change.
Make an appointment
Because you have taken the time to think through your situation and goals, you are probably eager to get going. You should make an appointment with an estate planning lawyer, and thanks to your initial preparation, you can explain your wishes and thought processes clearly. So, this minimizes the chances that you will go into the meeting cold and stumble to articulate your wishes.