Over the last few years, estate planning has been on a decline. According to a recent study, less than half of Americans nearing or in retirement have a will in place, which is down nearly one third compared to 2017. While no one likes to think about their last wishes and how to help their family once they’re no longer with them, it’s an important conversation to be had.
Here are three basic steps when it comes to estate planning:
Part of an effective estate plan is accounting for all of your assets, both tangible and intangible. You may think you don’t have much, but you’d be surprised at how quickly things can add up. Tangible assets include things such as vehicles, real estate, collectibles, and much more. Intangible are more of your usual asset class items, such as life insurance policies, retirement plans, banking accounts, and investments.
Once you’ve listed out your assets, it’s time for you to deem whom these assets will be passed on to. Not naming your beneficiaries could result in some sticky situations for your loved ones during a very sensitive season of life. Take some time to review those names and establish your list of beneficiaries.
You’ve taken stock of your assets and named your beneficiaries, so now would be a good time to begin planning who gets what and how much. Having a written will leaves no room for confusion for beneficiaries, making this moment for your loved ones a little smoother.
Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list for your entire estate plan, but this could be a good launching point for you and your family. If you’re unsure where to start in your estate planning journey, sitting down with an estate planning attorney could be beneficial to your planning process. To learn more about estate planning concepts, sign up for one of our courses at American Retirement Institute today!
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