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  • Writer's pictureMason Barnhart

How to Create MY Estate Plan?

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

A step-by-step process:

1. Identify your goals for creating an estate plan: Why are you creating an estate plan? Do you want to provide for your family, protect your assets, prepare for incapacity, or do all of the above?

2. Identify your assets to be included in the plan: Do you own property, stocks, IRAs, vehicles, etc.? It’s important to know what assets you have before planning your estate.

3. Identify the loved ones you want to provide for and protect: There may be many people in your life whom you need to consider in your plan, including a spouse, children, friends, and even pets.

4. Decide whether you want to make charitable contributions: You may want to donate to a charity, church, or other organization. There are various ways to accomplish that using a will or a trust.

5. Determine whether your heirs or beneficiaries have any special needs: Whether your beneficiary requires special needs or is simply a minor, you'll need to take extra steps to ensure that an inheritance is transferred appropriately and used wisely.

6. Determine whether you'll owe estate tax: The federal government and some states charge taxes on larger estates; knowing the value of your estate will help you determine your estate tax.

7. Decide whether avoiding probate is one of your goals: In most cases, assets transfer through the probate process, which can be complicated and expensive. You may want to avoid this, and that will require different estate planning techniques.

8. Think about your plan if you become incapacitated: If an illness or injury leaves you temporarily or permanently incapacitated, you'll need to consider what kinds of care you want and who will make those decisions for you.

9. Determine what legal tools you'll need to use: You may need to use tools such as trusts, a power of attorney, advance directives, or a last will and testament to accomplish your goals, provide for loved ones, and prepare for the unknown.

10. Implement your plan: This could involve taking steps such as changing how property is owned, creating legal documents, or transferring assets into a trust. Mistakes can be costly, contact a lawyer when you’re ready to create your Estate Plan.

Attorney Mason A. Barnhart can make this process simple and easy. Contact Attorney Barnhart to schedule a consultation.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

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