The first time you consider creating an estate plan it’s easy to lose track of your goals. Instead, you focus on one thing and one thing only: Putting the process in the past as quickly as possible.
If you’re taking the time to create an estate plan, you might as well do it right. And that means setting a few goals up front. Here are a few of the most common goals associated with estate planning:
- To provide for your loved ones: For example, you want to make sure your assets end up with the right people upon your death. Also, life insurance may be a big part of your estate plan, as your death benefit can help your loved ones with a variety of expenses.
- Incapacity planning: Your estate plan isn’t all about what happens to your assets after you pass on. It should also plan for incapacity, such as if you suffer a serious injury that doesn’t allow you to make health care, personal and financial decisions for yourself.
- The well-being of your children: If you have children under the age of 18, name a guardian to raise them in the event that you and your spouse pass on. It’s difficult to think about, but an absolute necessity. You want to know that your children will be in good hands if the worst happens.
- Privacy: This is more important to some people than others, but it’s something to think about. More specifically, a will is a public document, meaning that anyone can review it upon your death. If privacy is important to you, a living trust is the best place to house your assets. A trust never becomes public, which allows you to maintain the level of privacy you’re seeking.
- Business succession planning: As a business owner, have a plan for what will happen to your company in the future. For instance, your business succession plan can include terms and conditions for passing it onto another individual, such as a family member or executive, at the time of your passing.
No two people share the exact same estate planning goals, but these five are well worth your consideration. Once you have a list of goals in mind, it’s much easier to plan for the future and secure the peace of mind you’re seeking.