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5 Essential Steps to Crafting a Solid Estate Plan

Loune-Djenia Askew, Esq.

Apr 12, 2024

Making an estate plan might feel overwhelming, but it's key to handling your assets and making sure your wishes are followed. Here's an easy guide to putting together a strong plan.

1. Take Inventory of Your Assets

Your assets include your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, real estate, and personal items. List everything you own, along with details like account numbers and storage locations. This comprehensive list becomes the foundation of your estate plan.

2. Determine Your Wishes

Decide who gets what. Be clear about who you want to inherit your assets, whether they're family, friends, or organizations. Also, think about how and when they will receive these assets. If you have minor children, consider who you'd want to care for them.

3. Draft a Will

A will is a legal document that spells out your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children. Without a will, the state decides how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your wishes.

4. Consider Trusts

Trusts can manage how your assets are distributed and can help avoid the lengthy and public probate process. They can be particularly useful for managing larger estates or for providing for minors, special needs dependents, or managing estate taxes.

5. Choose Your Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) allows someone to make decisions on your behalf if you're unable to do so. There are different types of POA; some cover financial decisions, while others cover healthcare decisions. 

Don’t forget to regularly review and update your estate plan, especially after major life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or significant changes in financial status. By following these five steps, you can create a solid estate plan that protects your assets and provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Always consult with a professional estate planning attorney to ensure your plan meets legal standards and your personal circumstances.

For more information, contact our office at Askew & Associates, P.A. by calling 954-546-2699.

Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns.

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