Basics of Estate Planning: What it is And How to Get Started

Most people don't really wish to think about what happens after death. And it's totally fine unless you have financial assets that you wish your heirs or successors to share. And this is where Estate Planning is needed.

What is Estate Planning? 
The fundamentals of estate planning involve 4 key elements- 1. Last will and testament 2. Living will or health care power of attorney 3. Financial power of attorney, and 4. Trust establishment Well, this might be a little too tough to grab at first. Let's make it easier for you. Estate planning is the process that helps assess and distribute the personal and financial belongings of a person in case of death or incapacitation. But, the key question still remains unanswered- how do you do it? Keep reading to know more. 

How to begin with Estate Planning?
Familiarizing yourself, with the fundamentals of estate planning will only help you plan better, but knowing how to plan at the beginning is usually the most difficult part. So, here we have broken it down into a few simple steps. 

Inventory Assessment
It is noteworthy that estate planning can be done regardless of the size of your estate. You might think at first that you don't have enough property in your inventory. However, as you begin to prepare your inventory you might just be equally surprised. Estate planning can include all sorts of tangible and intangible property assets. The experts at explain that your mutual fund investments, real estate property, car, and any other possession, for that matter, can be included in your estate plan. The list goes on for all sorts of personal belongings, whether it has monetary value or not. 

Accounting Future Needs
Once you're done with your inventory assessment, the next step you ought to be doing is estimating future needs for your beneficiaries. In other words, you need to ensure that the beneficiaries receive enough of your estate to benefit in your absence. It should include insurance policies, naming guardians for your children, and how you wish your children to have cared when you're not there to do it for them. 

Establishing Directives
Now, comes the part where you initiate all the directives about how your estate should be distributed. Not just that, establishing directives also include setting up a trust, medical care directives, power of attorney, and so on. The purpose of establishing directives is to ensure that everything you wish is implied legally. 

Familiarize With Estate Tax Laws
It is noteworthy that estate planning and distribution is a taxable affair. Gift taxes, estate taxes, income taxes, and many more such taxes are levied on estate distributions. For swift handling of these affairs, it is vital that you seek expert opinions from experienced estate planners. These professionals will not only help your estate planning be legally compliant but can also help you in saving a lot many taxes.  

On this note, you have all the necessary information that you need to get started with your estate planning affairs. For a more, in-depth understanding of these affairs, we suggest you have a one-on-one session with your estate planning consultant.

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