Writing a will is just one small aspect that you should consider when planning an estate. The process of estate planning can be as easy or complicated as you want it to be, but some basic things are important to do during the estate planning process. Some steps anyone who is planning an estate should take include the following.
Create a Trust
One important thing to consider doing while planning your estate is creating a trust. This places all your assets into one trust account that a trustee of your choice will control. The trustee will manage and administer your assets as you see fit, both while you are alive and after you pass away.
Creating a trust will allow your beneficiaries to bypass the court probate process, where a judge oversees how and when assets are distributed to everyone. A trust can also help you and your beneficiaries save money on estate taxes overall. Your trustee will take care of all the details and ensure that assets are administered as you requested and in a timely manner. Your trustee can be a family member, a close and trusted friend, or an attorney of your choice.
Dictate Medical Directives
Dictate medical directives now in case you become incapacitated later and cannot make your own healthcare decisions for any reason. Your trustee will know how to handle your estate, but they will not have control over your medical care. Therefore, to ensure that your wishes and treatment preferences are respected, you need to write directives down and make sure that your lawyer, your trustee, and your healthcare providers have copies of those directives.
You will designate a power of attorney to handle your healthcare wishes and ensure that they are followed no matter what. The types of treatments you receive, what to do if you end up on life support, and where you are transferred for end-of-life care all just some of the things you can maintain control over if you provide your lawyer with medical care directives so that they create a health care declaration on your behalf.
Budget for Funeral Costs
Arrange your funeral and budget for the costs while planning your estate so that the costs do not come out of the inheritance for your beneficiaries. You can place the money for your funeral in a special account and leave it out of your assets when deciding which beneficiaries get what. This will help ensure that your funeral costs are controlled by only you and that your beneficiaries do not end up getting less from their inheritance due to paying for funeral costs.