How to Draw Your Estate Plan in 7 Easy Steps

How to Draw Your Estate Plan in 7 Easy Steps – Estate planning can seem like a daunting prospect to those who have never done it before, but taking the time to plan your estate will help you ensure that your last wishes are met in the most efficient way possible and keep your loved ones from being saddled with financial troubles or legal difficulties after you’re gone. 

In order to simplify the process, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide on how to draw your estate plan in 7 easy steps, so you can get all the benefits of estate planning without having to worry about doing it yourself or hiring an expensive lawyer or accountant.

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1) Who Will Be In Charge?

Selecting the person who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and overseeing the distribution of your assets is a key decision. 

The person you choose should be someone you trust and feel comfortable sharing intimate details of your life with, such as personal health information or financial information. 

You may want to appoint more than one person because it’s likely that the first person you choose won’t be available when the time comes. 

You may also want to consider naming an alternate or successor if the first choice isn’t appropriate for some reason.

2) What Assets Will They Have Control Over?

The person who has the most assets will have control over which assets are given away and how. If you want your spouse or partner to be the one with control, then consider giving them a joint bank account or joint ownership of property. 

But if you prefer that someone else–such as a trusted friend or family member–be in charge, make sure that person is financially sound and able to manage large sums of money responsibly.

The person who has the most assets will have control over which assets are given away and how. If you want your spouse or partner to be the one with control, then consider giving them a joint bank account or joint ownership of property.

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How to Draw Your Estate Plan in 7 Easy Steps

3) How Are Debts, Taxes, and Costs Handled?

If you have a spouse and children, they will be the beneficiaries of your estate (unless you state otherwise). If you don’t have a spouse or children, your estate will go to your parents. 

The costs associated with this are probate fees and taxes. If the estate is worth less than $100,000, there may not be any taxes. The probate process will take some time before it can get finalized. 

It can take up to six months for an executor to finish the process and finalize everything. You should also consider how your debts will affect the people that inherit from you. 

You should also make sure that the executor has all the right documents to help them do their job properly. The documents should include:

  • A list of personal property including things like jewelry, furniture, etc.
  • Legal documents including wills and trusts
  • Financial statements and tax returns

4) Who Gets What Property or Assets When You Pass Away?

For many people, estate planning is a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking the time to start early and follow these simple steps, you can make your estate plan as straightforward or as complicated as you want it.

  1.  Decide if You Need an Estate Plan – If so, decide how complicated you want your plan to be and who should help you with it.
  2. Create a Formal Will – Start by drafting a will that includes all of the information that’s important for distributing assets after death.
  3. Appoint Executors and Trustees – An executor is responsible for managing the deceased’s property until it passes on to beneficiaries or goes through probate court proceedings; a trustee manages the property while alive.

5) Is Probate Necessary?

When you die, your estate will have to go through probate. This process is necessary when someone dies with a will, but not everyone has one. 

Probate is what happens when the executor of the estate gathers up all your assets and pays off any debts before distributing them according to your will. 

The executor also needs to file any tax returns that need filing. If there’s no will, then it’s usually the next of kin who has to go through this process instead–but they may not know how so it’s always better if you can write a will for them and give instructions about how you want things distributed after you’re gone.

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How to Draw Your Estate Plan in 7 Easy Steps

6) Putting It All Together

  1.  Clearly define your goals and objectives.
  2. Identify the people who need to be involved with the estate plan and figure out who will take care of things when you’re gone.
  3. Choose a legal structure for your estate plan, such as a trust, will, or living trust.
  4. Create an inventory of all assets and liabilities, plus values for each item on both lists.
  5. Compile a list of all debts owed by you or owed by anyone else that benefits from any part of your estate plan (such as your spouse).
  6. Determine how you want to divide up any business interests that are part of your estate plan (e.g., what percentage each beneficiary should receive).

7) Get Help from a Professional

Estate planning is one of those things that you probably don’t want to think about, but it’s good to be prepared. If you’re looking for a way to get started, I’ve put together this list of nine easy steps you can follow.

  1.  Find an estate planning attorney or financial advisor who specializes in the area and have them evaluate your situation. You should also ask them if they are qualified or certified by any professional organization. Ask for references too!
  2. Carefully review your current assets (home, car, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts). Find out what you owe on any loans or credit cards and what your current net worth is. 
  3. Consider your family dynamics. Do you have children? How many? Do you have adult children living at home with your parents? What are their careers? Is there someone in the family who may need additional care as they age?
  4. Start reviewing your will and other documents such as trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives etcetera to see if anything needs to be updated or amended.
  5. Seek legal advice when creating new documents like a trust or power of attorney so that everything will hold up in court. Always consult with an expert before making changes to existing documents because these actions could result in unintended consequences.
  6. Update beneficiaries on all life insurance policies, retirement plans, investments, and pensions.

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