What do you think of when you think about estate planning? Do you think is just about the amount of assets you have accumulated? Not so! While not everyone needs to set up a family foundation or create complex trusts to pass assets on to their beneficiaries, everyone should take the time to do some basic estate planning. Give your family an awesome gift and have things organized, and in order by taking the following basic steps.
Basic Steps in Estate Planning
- Make a complete and accurate inventory of all assets and their values.
- Determine the form of ownership of each asset; understand its effect on the transfer of property at death.
- Verify beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement accounts.
- Estimate the size of the estate to determine whether estate tax planning is needed.
- Decide whether certain family members or assets need special protection (minor children, those with special needs, family business).
- Select beneficiaries and determine what provisions should be made for each.
- Determine how financial and health care decisions will be made in the case of illness or disability.
- Determine how health care will be funded.
- Estimate the cost of alternative estate planning methods that will meet the goals.
- Select and implement the estate plan.
- Laws and family circumstances change. Review plan regularly.
Mike DeVries is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant focusing on helping healthcare professionals. If you would like to learn more about becoming a client of Mike’s, contact him at www.vmde.com