There are many assets that people tend to overlook when planning their estate. Whether for sentimental reasons, or the financial security of your family, these are some of the most important assets to include in your estate plan:
Like most people, your home is probably your most valuable asset. Make sure to include it in your estate plan to ensure your family maintains possession of it after you’re gone. Planning and preparing now will save your loved ones time and anguish later.
Retirement accounts are a major source of income for many families. A beneficiary must be named for each of your accounts in order for loved ones to continue receiving the benefits after you’re gone.
Life insurance is an important asset to include in your estate plan. These policies help to provide financial security for your family when you pass.
Investment accounts can be a significant source of income for your family. As with the retirement accounts mentioned above, any and all bank accounts for that matter, make sure beneficiaries are named for each of your accounts so that the benefits for your family continue after you’re gone.
Your car is another valuable asset that you’ll want to include in your estate plan. Make sure to also name a beneficiary for your car so that your loved ones can keep it.
Personal belongings can have sentimental value and should be included in your estate plan. Make sure to designate who you want to receive your belongings so that they can be passed down to future generations.
If you own a business, it is an important asset to include in your estate plan. Make sure to designate a successor for your business if you’d like it to continue to operate.
Pets are members of the family and should be included in your estate plan. Make sure to designate a caretaker for your pets so they’ll continue to be cared for after you’re gone.
Benefits of an Estate Plan
Protects Your Family
An estate plan can help to protect the financial security of your loved ones in the event of your death, and ensure that your belongings are passed down to future generations as determined by you.
Ease for Your Family
An estate plan can make things easier for your family in the event of your death. It can provide clear instructions for your loved ones and help to avoid conflict, court, and confusion.
Ensures Your Wishes are Carried Out
An estate plan protects your decisions and can offer peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order and that your family will be provided for as you wish, regardless of outside influence or objection.
If you’re worried about your adult beneficiaries spending their inheritance too quickly, you can use a spendthrift trust to protect the assets. A spendthrift trust is a type of trust that restricts how and when the beneficiary can access the funds. This can help safeguard that the inheritance is used for its intended purpose and doesn’t get squandered.
An estate plan can provide tax benefits for your family. By carefully planning your estate, you can minimize the amount of taxes that your loved ones will have to pay.
Important Things an Estate Plan Should Include
The will is one of the most important documents in your estate plan. It allows you to designate how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass. A will can also be used to appoint a guardian for your minor children.
Trust is an important tool that can be used in estate planning. A trust can be used to hold assets for the benefit of your loved ones, and can also be used to minimize taxes and expenses.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to act on your behalf. A power of attorney can be used in estate planning to appoint someone to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated.
A living will is a legal document that outlines your end-of-life care preferences. A living will can be used to make sure that your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated.
Health Care Directive
A health care directive is a legal document that appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. A health care directive can be used in estate planning to make sure that your wishes are followed if the unforeseen happens.
A guardianship is a legal arrangement that appoints someone to care for your minor children which can be used in estate planning to spell out your wishes if something happens to you.
For more information on estate planning in southeastern Michigan, please contact Foley Law Offices today. An experienced attorney can help you create a comprehensive plan that meets your unique needs and specific goals.