You’re either visiting our site because you know estate planning is the right thing to do or you’ll see why it’s important as you read our pages. But it’s one thing to know you need this and it’s another to actually get your Estate Plan in order. Estate Planning can feel overwhelming.
This is understandable, but we’re here to help. Meeting with us and speaking with us will take the edge off. It will help you to know what is best for you to do and will help you get started. If you choose to work with us, we’ll be with you every step of the way to determine your needs and work them out the best way for your situation. You don’t need to plan anything at all to come meet us. You certainly don’t need to stress.
But… for those of you who feel more comfortable planning ahead, here are some steps you can take to get started.
Write down your goals.
You may have a number of intertwined goals (especially if yours is a blended and multigenerational family).
Or perhaps you have one simple all-important goal such as “ensure my minor children have a place to go” or “keep the family business intact.” Knowing your goals from the outset will make your decision process easier.
Make a list of the people you trust.
Throughout your Estate Plan you’ll be nominating people to take over financial, healthcare, and guardianship responsibilities if something happens to you. This will be your rough list of people you would trust in these roles.
Begin with your initial goal and go from there. For example, if your initial goal was guardianship of your minor children, make a list of people you would trust with the care your children. Next, list the people you’d trust to be your financial decision-makers. Then move through each of your goals.
Make a list of people you don’t trust.
If you’re having trouble coming up with people for any of the above lists, it sometimes helps to consider the people you would not want to be responsible for your child, your finances, or your healthcare.
Write down those people and work backward from there. If your kids must be kept from crazy Uncle Joe at all costs, would your cousin Emily be an acceptable alternative, even if she does have a different parenting style?
Know your assets.
Make a list of all your assets and their approximate values. This will help us, or your Estate Planner of choice determine what kind of asset protection you need in your plan.
- Your Home
- Investment/Vacation Property
- Bank Accounts
- Savings/Investment Accounts
- Retirement Accounts
- Life Insurance
- Family Owned Business
As we work with you, you’ll simply have this thought out a bit and if it makes you more comfortable, that’s great. But remember, this is just to start you off. We’ll be working with you so we’ll help you consider your possibilities and make these lists as well.
Most of all, remember that you don’t have to do this before you meet with us. We’ll be helping you.