National Estate Planning Month

October is National Estate Planning Month, and we want to get the conversation started about your assets. Everyone has an estate, whether you believe you do or not. Your estate consists of your car, home, other real estates, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance furniture, and all of your personal possessions. You might have the inclination that you don’t have enough assets to even consider estate planning, but it doesn’t matter how modest or large your belongings and possessions are. Just like hotels have exit strategies plastered on the inside of their hotel doors in case of a fire, this is your exit strategy.

Who Should Plan?

Estate planning isn’t just for the rich and elderly. The unfortunate part of life is that we’re not guaranteed  100 years or more. It’s important that as soon as you begin to build assets, you start working on your estate planning. Another uncomfortable thought is what happens to your estate if the worst occurs and you didn’t have a plan. Whether control of your estate changes because of a disability, or death—without an estate plan, you’re giving your current state residence the power through probate laws to divvy out your possessions. You’re even giving them the power to make more important decisions, like a minor’s guardian should both parents pass away.

Circle diagram showing the way estate planning connects to many things

Preparation

There are several things you can do to begin preparing for your estate planning:

  1. Include instructions that include how your assets will be dispersed
  2. Name a guardian for any minors
  3. Express instructions for care if you become disabled
  4. Include life insurance to provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury
  5. Provide for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death
  6. Process all open debts and try to minimize what’s left
  7. Review and update your plan as your life and financial situation changes

These are some basic things you can start with before bringing in an estate administrator. We work with people of all ages and backgrounds. We can help you with any questions and walk you through the confusing stages. Estate planning is for everyone, and it can be very overwhelming to do it alone. October is National Estate Planning Month, and we want to make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected.