Issues You Should Consider In Estate Planning

The idea of planning for our eventual passing is an uncomfortable issue. Nobody really wants to think about dying or reaching a point that they are no longer able to decide for themselves. Even more unpleasant is thinking about how our loved ones will have to carry on once we pass away.

As distasteful as the matter may be, estate planning is still a vital issue that we must all consider. Eventually, we will die and our belongings must be accounted and spoken for. We will need to determine what sort of care we are to receive should we become incapable of caring for ourselves. And if we have successors, then the responsible thing to do is to provide for them to the best of our ability.

The best time to look at this issue is now, and here are some key points you should consider when planning out your estate.

  • Do you have a will? Many people loathe the idea of writing a will, but it is easier – and more important – than they may think. This document will be crucial in determining what assets and belongings will be given, and whom they will be given to. When you prepare a will, make sure that it is written and signed in front of several witnesses. To be safe, store it in a safe place.

  • Have you talked to your family yet? Nobody will be affected by your passing as much as your immediate family will. It may be in their – and your – best interests to have a conversation with them sooner rather than later about the matter. Not only can this help settle the more concrete issues associated with estate planning, but it can help everyone come to terms with it mentally and emotionally.

  • Do you know who will watch over your children if both parents are lost? If you are married and have children, then you and your spouse need to discuss what will happen if you both pass away and your children survive you. If you do not address this, then the courts will assign them a legal guardian as they deem fit. Once you have a candidate in mind, you should approach them and include them in the conversation to find out if they can accommodate your wishes and what provisions they may need to do so.

  • Are there other people that may be involved? This question can be extremely sensitive, but it is an important question regardless. There may be other descendants or other parties of interest you were involved with that your loved ones may not know about – until the funeral or just after it. This can exact a heavy toll on your family emotionally and financially – as they may have a legal claim to your estate.

  • Who will represent you? It is in your best interests to select an executor – a person who will handle distributing your property to the people in your will, as well as take care pf paying off taxes and debts. Your executor needs to be someone that you can trust implicitly to take care of your wishes in your absence.

  • Do you have an estate lawyer? Also known as a probate lawyer, this is an attorney who guides an executor through the probate process. This is important, as your executor may have questions about estate law, interpreting your will, and other issues that an estate lawyer will be able to assist them with. They will also help your executor by handling documents that the probate court requires, addressing income tax issues and dealing with other legal matters that are part of the probate process. If you don’t have one already, there are many estate lawyers in Melbourne to choose from.

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