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Heritage Tree LogoWhat Should I Do to Prepare for Estate Planning?

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Ironically enough, you may have to plan ahead before you begin planning your estate. Read on to discover how to properly prepare for estate planning and how one of the seasoned Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys at McNerney & McAuliffe can support you through this process.

What assets should I inventory before preparing for estate planning?

Upon initial thought, you may not realize the insurmountable assets that you have collected over the years. However, you must refresh your memory, as adding them into your estate plan later on may be all the more difficult; or forgetting them altogether may serve an injustice to your beneficiaries. With that being said, the different assets that you must remind yourself of, and then inventory, are as follows:

  • Your tangible assets:
    • Your family home and other real estate.
    • Your family car and other vehicles.
    • Your artwork, antiques, and other collectibles.
    • Your family heirlooms.
  • Your intangible assets:
    • Your checking and savings accounts.
    • Your stocks, bonds, and other investment accounts.
    • Your life insurance policy and your retirement plan.
    • Your ownership rights over a trademark, copyright, or business.

So once you account for the aforementioned assets, you must then make a note of how to get access to each and every one of them. For example, you may want to share your username, password, and PIN to access your bank account. Or, you may want to disclose the code for the safe that stores your fine jewelry. Ultimately, you do not want to leave your trustee or your beneficiaries with the additional burden of retrieving the assets that you left behind for them.

What else should I do to prepare for estate planning?

Aside from creating an inventory, you may prepare to kickstart your estate planning in the following ways:

  • Consider your designated beneficiaries’ personal needs and loosely outline how your assets should be distributed to them.
  • Consider your designated beneficiaries on your retirement and insurance accounts and whether they match up to your intentions in your estate plan.
  • Consider your chances of being subject to federal estate taxes and how this may affect how your assets are distributed to your designated beneficiaries.
  • Consider an individual whom you trust and their willingness to take on the responsibility of a trustee.
  • Consider whether you should name a co-trustee to handle your digital assets.
  • Consider whether you should name contingent beneficiaries should your primary beneficiaries pass on first.
  • Consider whether you should name a guardian for your minor children and/or your pets should you pass on unexpectedly.

You must be proactive when pursuing estate planning. This starts with retaining the services of one of the competent Butler County estate planning attorneys. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC today.

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