Estate Planning Tips: Our Step by Step Guide

Estate Planning Tips: Our Step by Step Guide

When you write out your will and handle estate planning, it can be a somewhat complex process and a difficult one at that. But doing so will ensure that your partner and other family members are taken care of after your death. Our estate planning tips will discuss how you can easily get through this process and handle your affairs quickly and efficiently.

Going over your estate and totaling your worth is challenging for most people since it forces them to think of their mortality, but in the end, doing so will allow you to continue to take care of your loved ones, even after your passing.

Handling Your Affairs

So, what is estate planning? Often, it involves drawing up a will and splitting up your estate so that your property, assets, and possessions are given to specific family members and friends. Estate planning can prevent family and friends from fighting over your property and assets after your death, allowing your family to avoid court costs and a lengthier process.

If you have several properties, then speaking with a financial advisor will be your best route. If you don’t have many assets or much property and plan on leaving your entire estate to your civil partner or spouse, then you can probably draw up your own will without any help, however, the will must be notarized with a witness present in order to make it a legal document.

Your First Step

Before you start drawing up your will you must first take inventory of your liabilities and assets in order to determine your total net worth. Certain assets, such as a family run business may require special provisions.

Choosing Beneficiaries

The next step will be determining who you want to receive your possessions, property, and other assets. You must choose your beneficiaries and then decide exactly how you want your assets distributed. You will also have to decide on the manner in which the beneficiaries will benefit, such as receiving assets through a trust or receiving them outright.

If you have children you may want to stagger trust payments at specific ages, such as providing a lump sum at eighteen years of age to go toward college and a car, another lump sum at the age of twenty-four, and another payment at the age of twenty-eight, etc. The idea behind this is that as young adults we tend to make very different financial decisions compared to how we choose to spend our money in our late twenties or early thirties. Later in life, you’re seriously considering planning for your future and may decide to purchase a home for you and your growing family. Whereas, the eighteen-year-old who receives their inheritance outright may decide to spend all of it at once on an expensive car and travel. Doling out the money in this manner will help your beneficiaries to spend wisely.

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Managing Your Money

After you have chosen the beneficiaries and how they will receive their inheritance, it’s now time to determine who will manage your estate plan. Do you want a corporate trustee, an attorney or a family member to be the executor? You must also choose someone to be your power of attorney in the event that you’re seriously injured or no longer mentally competent. You should also consider having a living will which will spell out in great detail what types of medical decisions you would prefer.

Revocable Trust or a Will?

You should choose the type of plan that makes the most sense for you and your estate. For most people, drawing up a will makes the most sense, while others choose a revocable trust. Those who choose the revocable trusts do so because they have several properties.

ISA Inheritance

Many people choose an ISA to save for a home or for retirement. Since you’re able to deposit twenty thousand pounds per year into an ISA, the funds can really add up over the years. If you don’t want your ISA to get hit hard with taxes after your death then you must plan on willing the funds to your civil partner or your spouse. For more information on how to handle future plans for your ISA after death, click here.

Drawing Up These Legal Documents

Find a reputable attorney to draw up the estate plan documents including your will. Speak with business associates, relatives, and ask friends for referrals to an attorney with extensive experience.

Final Thoughts

While following these estate planning tips can be overwhelming since you’re probably thinking more about your mortality than you’d like, following them will ensure that your family and friends are taken care of after your passing. Many of these tips will also allow you to distribute your funds and assets exactly the way you want, which can prevent your family from fighting over possessions or paying steep inheritance tax fees after your death.

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