“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out alive.” – Elbert Hubbard
As much as we’d all like to think otherwise, no one is invincible. At some point in time we will all pass on, leaving all our assets and belongings to our surviving family members and friends. “Estate planning” refers to the process of dictating what will happen to your assets (and children, if applicable) after you pass. Here are a few tips to make the process easier, courtesy of our Lake of the Ozarks estate planning attorneys.
Talk To Your Heirs
They may be your children, your spouse, or your closest friends, but you will never be able to know exactly what they think or how they feel about any given situation. Before assigning major responsibilities or dedicating belongings to specific heirs, have open conversations with the people involved. Does a certain item hold extra sentimental value to your son? Is your eldest daughter willing to obtain custody of your younger, minor children if something happens to you? You will save everyone a great deal of time and frustration f your heirs have some advance notice of how things work after you’re gone.
Talk To Your Power Of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is the individual you assign to manage your finances, bills, and assets in the event that you pass away or become incapacitated. A healthcare power of attorney is the individual you assign to make important healthcare decision on your behalf if you are unable to do so for yourself. These are big responsibilities; before you assign someone to fill this role, be sure that they are aware of what the job entails and that they are willing to accept the responsibility.
Establish A Will
Your will is an incredibly important estate planning document. It is the official document that states how and to whom your assets will be distributed. Without a will in place, your assets will be distributed according to Missouri probate laws. This Missouri probation process is complicated and time-consuming. Having a legal document dictating how your belongings should be allocated will make the process much easier on everyone involved.
Update Your Beneficiary Specifications
Life insurance policies, retirement savings, car titles, property deeds, and bank accounts all give the owner an opportunity to designate a beneficiary in the event of your death. These specifications are considered legally binding and will be carried out regardless of opposing specifications in your will, so it is important to ensure that these designations are up-to-date with your current wishes.
Deputy & Mizell Can Help You Build Your Estate Plan
Planning your estate is an important legal process that should be done with the utmost care and concern for accuracy. If you are ready to plan your estate in Lebanon, Camdenton, or Tuscumbia, MO we encourage you set up a free consultation with one of our Missouri estate planning attorneys. We look forward to working with you!