The start of a new year is traditionally the time to set personal and financial goals for the months ahead. And without a doubt, there is one goal you’ll certainly want to prioritize – estate planning. With the help of a McKinney estate planning attorney you can protect your assets, secure your family’s future – and avoid the pain of a drawn-out probate process. But what steps do you need to take to plan your estate for the new year?
7 Estate Planning Steps for the New Year
If you’ve been delaying the estate planning process, the start of a new year is the perfect time to take those important first steps. Here is a straightforward process anyone can follow to create a comprehensive plan, regardless of the level of assets involved.
1. Schedule a Consultation With an Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney will oversee most of the process, offering guidance and recommendations tailored to your needs. Schedule a free consultation to determine whether you need a will, a trust, asset protection services and other possible benefits.
2. Find All Essential Financial Documents
Gather vital financial documents, such as account statements, property deeds and stock certificates. After a discussion with your estate planning lawyer, you may decide to put these assets into a trust.
3. Consider the Distribution of Your Estate
Decide how you want to pass on your assets to your children, if the estate will be divided equally, as well as other stipulations you wish to include in the plan. You may also choose to make a charitable contribution within the estate plan.
4. Choose an Executor
The executor will administer the estate after your passing. If you do not name an executor the courts will appoint one for you, so ensure you designate a trusted family member or other person.
5. Create a Power of Attorney and Medical Instructions
Power of attorney grants a person of your choosing the right to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Similarly, you can also include medical directives in the event of a serious illness or accident. If you have young children, determining guardianship rights can offer peace of mind.
6. Approve the Drafts Created by Your Estate Planning Attorney
Your estate planning attorney will draft your estate plan according to your wishes. You will review the plan, and upon approval you can finalize the documents to complete the process. A probate attorney will help administer the plan after your passing.
7. Amend Your Estate Plan Periodically
Of course, your assets could alter considerably over time, and your wishes might also change. Remember to work with your attorney to make amendments when required.
Trusted Estate Planning Law Firm Serving McKinney and Beyond
Lucé Law, PC offers estate planning and asset protection services to clients in North Texas. For help with wills, trusts, tax planning, business law and other services, contact our McKinney office today. Call (972) 632-1300 or request a free legal consultation now.