Getting Started With the Estate Planning

One thing that people do not always understand about Estate Planning is that it can be started at any time. There is no need to wait until there is a stock portfolio or property to consider. In fact, starting the planning while there is not a lot in the way of assets is a great strategy for getting into the habit of maintaining the estate properly. Here are some tips on how to get started.

Taking an Inventory
Most people have more than they realize. While they are well aware of the balance in the checking account and the value of the life insurance policy, an estate also includes all the household furnishings, appliances, and personal belongings. If something were to happen to the individual, someone would have to sort through all those things and make some decisions.

To get an idea of what the individual does own, make a complete inventory of every item in the house, the garage, and any rented storage container. Leave out nothing, no matter how trivial it may seem. That list will come in handy as the task of Estate Planning continues.

Creating Basic Documents
With the inventory completed, it is now possible to create documents that are essential to the planning. Start with the last will and testament. Use the will to ensure that everything from various financial assets to the clothing hanging in the closet is designated to be passed on to a loved one or a specific non-profit organization. While it may seem extreme to specify that the bedroom furniture that no one likes should be donated to a particular charity, remember that doing so means one less matter for the executor of the estate to decide.

Along with the last will and testament, compose a living will. This ensures that, if the individual becomes incapacitated due to an accident and cannot provide permission for certain types of medical treatment, the contents of the living will leave no doubt about what the person wants and doesn’t want. The living will effectively remove the responsibility of making life or death decisions on the shoulders of loved ones.

For anyone who is ready to start planning, visit and arrange to speak with a professional. Once the essentials are in place, it will be easier to update the provisions as more wealth and possessions are acquired.

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