Estate planning is basically the act of arranging and anticipating, through the early life of an individual, for the proper management and distribution of his/her estate in case the concerned individual becomes mentally incapacitated and later after his death. The term “estates” refers to real property or financial assets. Real estate is one of the most valuable assets owned by an individual. Proper estate planning makes it possible for a person to enjoy his life to the fullest while his wealth is passed on to his children or other heirs. Proper estate planning also ensures that the surviving family members benefit from the inheritance.
There are several tasks involved in estate planning. One of these is to plan for any eventualities such as deaths of the insured individual’s beneficiaries. Another is the transfer of assets to named or unknown third parties. Transfer of assets is one of the major tasks of estate planning. The assets transferred must be those that the insured could transfer without penalty or without delay. This means that they have to be able to be transferred with reasonable convenience and without any difficulty.
A person must also consider their wishes regarding the disposition of their assets should they become mentally incapacitated. They must make wishes regarding the use of their assets and whether such wishes would interfere with the needs of others or if there is a conflict in their wishes with those of others who are also planning for their estates. Also, the wishes of the intestate must be respected in estate planning. If the wishes of the intestate do not agree with those of others who are involved in estate planning, then the intestate must consent to the plan made by the others.
The importance of having an experienced attorney on your side can never be overemphasized. An attorney is someone who is well-versed with the intricacies of estate planning law and can give you sound advice. It is not wise to put too much emphasis on what an attorney says as often times an attorney will say something because they really feel like they must. If you have a will and want it to be enforced, it would be in your best interest to seek the services of an experienced and qualified attorney. An attorney can review your will and if it contains clauses that are ambiguous, they can interpret the meaning of the terms in the will.
It is important for people to document all of the assets owned and the value of those assets. This is so that when an estate plan is drawn up the attorney will have a record of all of the important documents that are required. The attorney can draw up a simple Will that will be used as a template for more complex wills that will be used in estate planning.
If at all possible, all of the assets should be transferred to one or more beneficiaries before beginning the process of estate planning. If a change of beneficiaries happens later down the road, then that can be done at a later date. Once all of the important documents are prepared, everyone that is involved in the estate plan should sign them. There should be a witnesses’ list as well. This is so each party can verify that everything is being done as per the will. A person can make minor changes to their Will while it is in active status, but once it is expired then it becomes useless.