Where do you start with Estate Planning?

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I previously wrote on 4 reasons why estate planning isn’t just for the top 1 percent, but you may be asking where to start with estate planning.  Estate planning allows you to pass your assets and properties to the people you want, appoint guardians for your minor children, and prevent confusion and disputes among your beneficiaries, among other things.

 

Where do you start with Estate Planning?

 

To start with Estate Planning, you need to focus on a couple of things:

 

  • Define your Estate Planning Goals
  • List your Assets
  • Choose your Beneficiaries
  • Prepare your Will
  • Designate an Executor
  • Name a Guardian for your minor children
  • Create Powers of Attorney

 

Define your Estate Planning Goals

 

There are many reasons to have an estate plan.  Ask yourself if you want to choose who will raise your minor children or whether you want to put aside protection for your adult special needs child or whether you want to minimize estate taxes or whether you want to describe your wishes for funeral arrangements and expenses.  I’ve heard many concerns over the years and they are all valid.

 

List your Assets

 

This one isn’t too difficult, but it can be.  Your assets will include things like real estate, investments, and insurance policies.  But, it also includes things like business interests and digital assets like your Facebook account.

 

Choose your Beneficiaries

 

These are the people or organizations, like a charity, that will receive your assets after your gone.

 

Prepare your Will

 

There are many good reasons to have an estate plan, but there is no valid reason for being without a Will.

 

Designate an Executor

 

This is the person who is going to be taking care of these things when you are no longer here.

 

Name a Guardian for your minor children.

 

The Will is the only way in Georgia to name a Guardian for your minor children.  So, if you have minor children, get a Will.

 

Create Powers of Attorney

 

This is just as important as your Last Will and Testament.  This allows someone to access your medical records, pay your bills, or talk to the doctor on your behalf if you ever get to a point where you are unable to do so yourself.

 

It is always a good idea to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney when discussing your estate planning needs.  We would be glad to assist you in this journey.  Feel free to call us at (678) 809-4922 for your free consultation.

Marietta Estate Planning Lawyer

John P. Farrell, Esq.

Mr. Farrell is the author of Estate Planning for the Modern Family: A Georgian’s Guide to Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney.  You can learn about his book here and learn more about John here.  Join the more than 1,000 people who subscribe to his Newsletter here.  Feel free to send John a message here.

 

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