With an estate plan, you can:
So how do you begin? A good first step is to take an inventory of your assets and estimate their value. Give careful consideration to your potential beneficiaries and how you would want them to benefit from property or other assets of your estate.
You may be a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to other aspects of your financial life, but estate planning is one area where it’s smart to get professional help. Among other things, the process can entail preparing a will, creating trusts, naming beneficiaries for insurance policies and retirement accounts, and selecting guardians for minor children. In addition, some families need to plan to minimize estate taxes.
Given the complexities, you’ll want to work with a qualified estate planning attorney. Depending on your situation, you may also find it helpful to work with other professionals, including a financial planner or investment manager, a trust officer, an insurance agent, or an accountant. Keep in mind, though, that the attorney must be the one who drafts your estate planning documents.