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    5 Steps in Effective Estate Planning

    Starting the estate planning process now can be one of the best gifts you can give your family. You are saving them considerable time and stress, as well as protecting your assets.

    1. Write a Will

      Should you die without leaving a will, state law will determine what happens to your estate. You can create your own will and specify who gets what property, who becomes the legal guardian of your minor children, and so forth. Just use an electronic template to guide your thinking about which friends and relatives inherit what assets.

    2. Consider Creating a Trust

      You can avoid probate hassles entirely by setting up a revocable trust. The trust document explains what should happen with all of your assets. Putting this information in one document eliminates probate entirely.

    3. Buy Life Insurance

      Purchasing life insurance makes sense if you have young children, own a home, or expect to owe estate taxes. Consider term life insurance instead of whole life, because it might be cheaper over a period of years.

    4. Assemble Estate-Related Documents

      Gather up wills, trust documents, investment records, and life insurance papers. You should also prepare three documents for your family members: a power of attorney, a living will (or advanced directive), and a form authorizing doctors to share medical information with your representatives.

    5. Learn How Estate Taxes Work

      Most estates are not large enough to be taxed under current law. However, if the taxable asserts of your estate are over $5.43 million, your family could face a huge tax bill. If you understand estate taxes, you can minimize the tax burden.

    Our Coachella Valley estate planning attorneys can answer all of your estate questions. Contact us today!

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