It’s the start of a new year and for many people, that means making resolutions to do things differently or better in the coming year. However, these resolutions can often — and easily — be broken. People get distracted or unmotivated, particularly when it involves doing something that seems complicated and uncomfortable, like making an estate plan.
If you have decided you want to create an estate plan this year, then there are some simple steps you can take to get started so that you can keep this New Year’s resolution.
- Think about your goals-This can include your financial plans for retirement, setting aside assets for your kids or keeping the details of your estate private. Taking the time to think through these goals can help you prioritize your needs and focus on what is most important to you.
- Start small-Do not make the mistake of thinking you have to tackle every estate planning objective at once. You can start off by creating a basic will or completing a living will. Over time, you can add to your plan and make changes.
- Identify important people-Guardians, personal representatives, trustees and beneficiaries are all people who will be affected by your estate plan. Think about who will fill these positions. You can also discuss your thoughts with these people to ensure they are willing and capable of taking on these roles.
- Talk to an attorney-The legal process can be overwhelming, and attempting to get through it alone can be daunting. To make it easier and less intimidating, you can consult an estate planning attorney who understands state estate planning laws and can help you navigate the legal system.
Taking the first steps toward creating an estate plan can be difficult. However, the longer you put it off, the longer you go without the protection and peace of mind that comes with having a plan in place.