ESTATE PLANNING OVERVIEW
Though Estate Planning is sometimes viewed as a task primarily for older people, Estate Planning can help young people establish foundation that they can fine-tune as their personal and financial situations change. In addtion, regardless of your income level, everyone needs to think about how they want their financial assets to be distributed or handled if you pass away or are incapacitated.
I understand the importance of Estate Planning through personal experiences with family members. I initiated and completed Estate Planning formy parents, and other loved ones which allowed us to go through the grieving process, and not have the added stress of dealing with incidents related to Estate Planning.
The nucleus of Estate Planning is determining what will happen to your property after you pass away. However, in addition to determining where your property should go, effective Estate Planning includes decisions about your young children and their property, your health care during life, and what happens to your body after death.
Consider the fact that many people devote more time trying to decide where to eatdinner or what car to buy, than they do deciding who will inherit their assets after they are gone. Estate Planning is not just for the rich. Without a plan in place, there could possibly be a long-lasting impact on your loved ones, even if you don't have a pricey home, large IRA, or valuable art to pass on.
For some, just the thought of Estate Planning seems rather grim, but keep in mind you're doing this to help your loved ones in the future. Think of how much you love the important people in your life and consider how much help your small effort now will be beneficial to them in the future. There are many documents associated with Estate Planning, I however will be focusing on just three (3) documents that I feel are rather straight forward for many, the LivingWill, Durable Power of Attorney, and the Will. — Christopher Colbert
A document that details what happens to your property if you pass away.
REVISITING YOUR FINAL WISHES
Life Changes. So should your estate plan.
Periodically assess your estate plan and make changes as necessary. You should revisit your final wishes whenever your circumstances change for better or for worse. This may include a marriage or divorce, birth of a child, loss of a loved one, getting a new job or being terminated.
Even if your circumstances do not change, it is still a good idea to evaluateyour estate plan periodically. While your situation may be the same, laws may have changed.