Nancy F. Slater (Retired)

What’s the first step of estate planning?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is an important part of growing older. With estate planning, you do several things ranging from assigning guardianship for your children if you pass away to designating beneficiaries for important assets your estate holds. 

In its essence, estate planning has the goal of determining what will happen to all of the things you own when you pass away. However, some parts of the estate-planning process also include taking steps to protect yourself in case of serious injury or mental incapacity.

What should be the first thing you do with your estate plan?

Usually, the first thing people do with an estate plan is set up a will. A will is a legally binding document that describes how you’d like your assets to be distributed if you pass away. If you are 18 or older, then you should have a will in place, even if you don’t have much to your name. As long as you have a will, you can designate who you want to receive your assets, whether that’s a family member, friend or a charitable organization.

Not all assets are covered in a will, so you may have to set up beneficiary designations for other items like bank accounts or your life insurance policy.

Is it difficult to create a will?

It’s not difficult to create a will, but it is advisable to have an attorney’s guidance and help. The process is straightforward so long as you have an idea about who you want to set up as an heir or a beneficiary. Once you make that decision, you should discuss your will with those you’ve included, so they know what to expect in the future.