Creating an estate plan for the first time is both stressful and refreshing.
On one side of things, no one wants to think about the day when they’re no longer able to care for themselves and their loved ones. Conversely, an estate plan will give you peace of mind, as you can feel confident in everything that will happen upon your passing.
Since it’s best to do things the right way the first time around, don’t take action until you answer these key questions:
- Do you want to create a will and/or trust? You can create one or both, but it’s a decision you need to make. Of course, you always have the opportunity to add one or the other down the line.
- Who will you name as your beneficiary? You can name one person or multiple individuals. Either way, you need to know to whom you want to leave your estate upon your passing.
- Who will you name as the guardian of your children? If you have children under the age of 18, it’s critical to name a guardian in your estate plan. This is the person who will care for them if you pass on before they reach legal age.
- Will you create a health care directive? This has nothing to do with what happens after you pass on. It’s designed to provide stability if you’re incapacitated. You can name an agent who is responsible for making health care decisions should you be unable to do so.
- Will you create a financial power of attorney? Similar to a health care directive, this allows you to name an agent to manage your financial affairs in the event of incapacity.
These aren’t the only questions to answer as you create your first estate plan, but starting here will put you on the right path to success.
As you answer these questions, make note of anything you don’t understand or areas that require additional attention. Yes, it will take some time to get everything in place, but you’ll be glad that you took the time to do so once your estate plan is complete.