Many individuals delay estate planning in Tracy because it involves end-of-life issues. However, regardless of your age or health, it’s always in your family’s best interests to consult an estate planning lawyer sooner, rather than later. Unexpected tragedies occur all too often; by dealing with these matters promptly, you can ensure that your family’s financial future is protected in the event of your passing. When you meet with an attorney to address matters such as your last will and testament, you’ll need to consider the following factors.
Evaluate Your Financial Situation
After scheduling a meeting with an estate planning lawyer, it’s time to gather together important financial documents. Review all of your financial information to determine the total value of your assets, and your current and anticipated cash flow. Compare your cash flow and assets to your total liabilities to determine your net worth. Consider other factors that may affect your finances in the future, such as the rising cost of living, your retirement or your spouse’s retirement, and unexpected, yet significant expenses, such as those related to a major illness. By understanding your particular financial situation, your estate planning lawyer can help you develop a sound financial plan for the future and for your heirs.
Consider Your Beneficiaries’ Needs
When you create a will with the help of your estate planning attorney, you’ll designate beneficiaries for your assets . You’ll also designate beneficiaries for your life insurance policy, retirement accounts, and similar accounts. It’s entirely your decision as to how to divide your estate among your family members, friends, or charitable organizations. However, when designating beneficiaries, you should consider their future needs and their spending habits. Many individuals earmark funds in a trust to cover specific expenditures, such as college tuition or special needs expenses.
Reduce Your Taxable Estate
Estate and income taxes can take a significant portion of the assets you allot to your beneficiaries. Your estate planning lawyer can help you develop efficient strategies to minimize tax obligations. You might also consider purchasing a life insurance policy that will cover the estate tax your heirs will owe.