Estate planning is not difficult and can save your family a lot of grief if you are prepared.
This generally involves five key steps:
Talk to a professional to create an estate plan. Start with a financial advisor, but you should also consider legal, trust and tax advice.
Prepare a balance sheet including everything you own and everything you owe. Determine who will inherit your assets and how your liabilities will be paid.
Prepare a will and a power of attorney. Appoint an executor and a guardian for minor or infirm dependents.
Adopt strategies to provide liquidity in the estate and minimize taxes and administration fees. Use of wealth protection strategies, appointment of beneficiaries, establishing joint ownerships and family trusts help achieve this goal.
Review and update your estate plan periodically or as you experience any major life changes.
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