Estate plans combine a variety of helpful components that vary depending on your lifestyle, the dynamics of your family, your end-of-life wishes and the value of your assets, among other things. Identifying which parts of an estate plan would provide you with the most value may require you to reflect on your assets and your long-term goals for your family.
Careful thoughtfulness in putting together a customized estate plan can help ensure your final wishes are fulfilled, guide your family members on how to divide your assets, and provide your loved ones with ongoing support and comfort even after your death.
Identifying what you want
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of creating an estate plan is not unusual. If you feel stressed about coordinating all of your affairs into one central plan, you certainly are not alone. The Motley Fool suggests several helpful considerations to take to gain clarification as you begin to plan your estate. Some of the things you may want to ask yourself include the following:
- Do you want to contribute any of your assets to a charity?
- Exactly which assets do you want to include in your estate plan?
- Do you have adequate insurance coverage for the assets you own?
- Are there beneficiaries with special needs in your family?
- What resources will you need to implement and maintain your plan?
- What unique risks do you have that others may not?
Starting before it is too late
There is no such thing as starting to plan your estate too early. However, neglecting to coordinate your affairs until it is too late can be a very real problem. If something happens to you and you become unable to make important decisions, the fate of your assets may end up in the hands of the state. Not having an estate plan in place prevents you from having control over your assets and potentially even decisions about your own health.