Now more than ever, it is extremely important to plan for the future. The process of estate planning allows you to prepare for future scenarios and protect yourself and your family. An established attorney in the field of estate planning can help you create an estate plan that fits your needs.
Generally, experts advise that you consider creating an estate plan as soon as possible, especially if you anticipate a major life-changing event in your family’s near future, or if one has already occurred. Some examples of life-changing events include getting divorced, the death of a family member, the birth of a child or grandchild, or the opening or closing of a business.
Once you have read up on federal and Indiana estate tax laws and other requirements, you will want to determine the goals and objectives of your estate plan (e.g. planning for incapacity, distributing assets). You should also complete a personal financial statement to give a clear picture of your assets and liabilities, determine potential guardians, trustees, and other fiduciaries, and review your life insurance policy or consider it, if you do not have it already.
With your estate plan objectives in place, you can finalize what will be included in your final estate plan. Your estate plan could include a will, trusts, healthcare power of attorney, beneficiary designations, and financial power of attorney. You can then meet with an estate planning attorney to go over your plan, make changes, and execute the final document. However, it is important to remember that as life changes, so should your estate plan. Make sure you review your plan every year and when life-changing events occur to ensure that your estate plan is kept up-to-date and is exactly the way you want it to be.