Don'T Have An Estate Plan? Follow These 5 Tips

Have you been putting off your estate planning because you would rather not think about it? If so, you may be making a big mistake. Passing away without a proper estate plan can lead to huge complications for your family, which is something you'd rather not put them through since it can be avoided. Here are some tips to follow when creating an estate plan so that your affairs will be in order. 

Create A Basic Will Right Now

Of all the estate planning techniques, everyone should at least have a basic will. If you don't have a basic, you should make one right away since it is incredibly easy to do. Some states allow you to write out your own will in your own handwriting, where you can easily leave all of your belongings to a family member.

Review All Beneficiaries 

Some things do not need to be listed in a will in order to have them passed on to other people. This includes any account where you can list a beneficiary, such as an investment account or life insurance policy. You'll want to review who the beneficiaries are for these assets and make sure they are going to the right people. 

Create Lists For Assets And Debts

It is important that you leave a list of your assets and debts so that others have a detailed idea of what they should be looking for to settle your estate. You'll want to list real estate that you own, all bank accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies for your assets. Your debts should include things like an outstanding mortgage, credit card accounts that are still open, and lines of credit that you have and have not paid back. 

Consolidate Your Accounts

Your heirs will have to fill out a lot of paperwork if you have multiple accounts all over town. That's why it's a good idea to consolidate your accounts if possible. Keep all your cash in a single bank account, combine your retirement accounts, and close credit cards that you do not use. 

Select A Trustworthy Executor

You'll need to list a person as the executor of your estate, which is someone that you trust to follow your wishes for what you want to have happen to your estate. It can also help to list additional backup executors in case the primary executor is unable to do it.

If you have a more complicated estate, you will likely need help from an estates and trusts attorney so that it will be easy to distribute your estate to your heirs.