Estate planning involves far more than just 10 steps. In fact, one of the reasons that people often put it off is that they feel intimidated by the sheer amount of work that they know it's going to be.
You shouldn't feel this way. Estate planning is very important and you can accomplish it; it's probably easier than you think. But, to make it more manageable, let's start by looking at 10 different areas you want to consider. You can use them as a jumping-off point to get started with your entire plan. These areas are:
- Preserving wealth for future generations
- Making sure health care decisions are properly taken care of if you are still alive but cannot make them yourself
- Distributing business assets
- Minimizing the taxes that will be leveled on the estate
- Handling assets in different states
- Trying to reduce the odds of confusion or conflict among your heirs
- Picking a guardian for your children if they are minors
- Making sure that your heirs actually get the right assets at the right time
- Setting up a flexible plan to handle your estate if you cannot do so alone
- Dealing with any property that is owned jointly; this could be as simple as assets you bought with your spouse or assets you bought with a business partner
Now, all of these may not apply to your case. Maybe you don't have out-of-state assets. That's fine. You can cross them off the list and move forward. Just make sure you start here and consider all of the other legal steps you will need to take.