Estate planning can benefit your loved ones in a number of ways, especially once you are no longer there to voice your desires regarding any assets and how you want them divided among the family. Detailed instructions laid out in language that is simple to understand can provide a voice for you once you cannot speak on your own.
As you plan for the future, there are several steps you can take to ensure the estate plan you create is a viable one.
Consider joint ownership of assets
An estate plan can ease the burden of decision-making for your spouse, especially during a time where he or she may feel overwhelmed. AG Financial notes that including joint ownership clauses in your will or living trust allows property to pass to the surviving individual without the need for probate. This can streamline the process of property transfer after your passing.
Making a list of your beneficiaries can help ensure that you do not leave out any heirs while planning for the division of your assets. You can name your spouse, any children, siblings and even friends and charities as your beneficiaries, but it is helpful to present a list to your attorney if he or she is helping you create a will or living trust.
Designate a power of attorney
Making decisions about who will see to your needs if you become medically unable to care for yourself can help prevent family strife later on. Choose both a medical and financial power of attorney so there are no misunderstandings within your family in the future.
These guidelines may also help you create a living trust. Having both a will and a living trust in place can ensure that you and your assets are well cared for in the future.