A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that estate planning is nothing more than divvying up assets to loved ones. While figuring out how your assets are going to be distributed upon your passing is certainly part of the process, it’s just a piece of a well-developed and comprehensive estate plan. Therefore, if you want a holistic estate plan in place that addresses all of your interests, you might want to take the time to learn more about what estate planning can do for you and your loved ones.
Major considerations in the estate planning process
Sure, a simple will may be sufficient to leave assets to your spouse or your children, but you probably have needs and wishes that extend beyond what a will can provide. Let’s look at some of the other aspects of estate planning to which you may want to pay special attention:
- Long-term care: A lot of people end up needing long-term care at some point in their life. This care can be expensive, quickly eating through the wealth that you’ve accumulated, thereby leaving your loved ones with less than you intended. But there are estate planning techniques that you can use to save yourself some money should the need for long-term care arise.
- Your financial decisions: if your health declines to the point that you’re no longer able to care for yourself, your financial decisions might be up in the air, eventually being left in the hands of someone you don’t trust. You can avoid this outcome, though, if you engage in sound planning so that, should you become incapacitated, your financial matters are left in good hands.
- Your children’s future: If you have young children, your estate plan is a great way to specify who will watch over them in the event that you pass away. Here, you can name a guardian over the children themselves, their estate, or both. By planning this out, you can rest easy knowing that your children will be taken care of as you see fit if something were to happen to you.
- Charitable endeavors: If there’s a non-profit organization or some other charitable endeavor that you support, you can use your estate plan to further those causes. This may require you to set up a trust, but you’ll have to plan this out, otherwise your support for those organizations will disappear once you’re gone.
- Your pets: If you have a beloved pet, you’ll want to make sure that you utilize your estate plan to provide long-term care for it. This may include leaving the pet to a named individual and putting money aside to help ensure that the pet is well taken care of.
- Goals for you loved ones: if you have goals that you want your loved ones to accomplish, whether that be to get married, graduate from college or have children, you can use your estate plan as motivation by linking the release of assets to a specified triggering event.
Do you want to learn more about what estate planning can do for you?
Estate planning has a wider reach than many people realize. As a result, far too many people miss out on the benefits of the process. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, consider reaching out to a legal team that you trust to discuss what estate planning can do for you and your family as well as how to craft the legally sound estate plan that you need to accomplish your goals.