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News, insights, and opinions from the Doug Newborn Law Firm on probate, estate planning, personal injury, and vehicle collision laws and how they impact you and your family.

While it’s scary and morbid to think about, death is inevitable. In addition to knowing this fact, it would be helpful for us to anticipate situations like preparing for accidents, needing round-the-clock care, or getting admitted to a nursing home. Because these events are almost a certainty, it’s a good idea to do as much estate planning as we can.

In today’s post, we’ll review some vital strategies in implementing proper estate planning. Preparing for the inevitable ensures that our loved ones will hopefully have an easier time handling important estate matters when the inevitable happens.

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The Basics

For now, let’s not complicate the definition of estate planning with all the legal jargon. What you need to know about it is that it’s an act of doing all the necessary preparations when transferring your assets and wealth following illness or death.

Proper estate planning will identify what your assets are and how you would like them distributed.

These are the following items classified as part of your estate: finances, real estate, life insurance, cars, pensions, debts, other personal belongings, and even debts.

An estate plan is classified into two stages:

Before Death

Here are some essential items you can finalize at this stage of your estate plan:

  • Your instructions and wishes for specific medical procedures such as operations, and whether or not you prefer to be put on life support.
  • Your wishes on how you want your finances managed and who will manage it in the event you’re unable to do so – whether it’s because of old age, injury, or illness.

After Death

After you’ve passed, try to make sure you have the following important points covered in your estate plan:

  • Guardianship assignment over your minor children.
  • Asset distribution to your heirs or beneficiaries.

These are vital decisions that you shouldn’t leave to laws of your state or, worse, uncertainty. Having a sound estate plan gives the assurance that your last wishes are fulfilled precisely as planned.

Estate Plan: Do Not Delay

Hopefully, your demise is not something you worry about too often. However, it’s still something you should prepare for to get everything in order.

Making the necessary arrangements ensure that your loved ones will know what you own, what you want to happen, and how you want a variety of situations handled after you’re gone.

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While you can make many of these arrangements on your own, it’s a wise idea to seek the legal guidance of an estate planning attorney. They can provide the right information when preparing your will, handling asset management, and other general estate management strategies.

If the unexpected happens and you are not prepared for it, your loved ones will be left in a complicated situation. They will be left to deal with the court to determine how your estate is administered.

Essential Documents, Passwords, and Account Information

It is vital to make a list of your login information for different accounts. You can use either a handwritten list or a software application – just make sure your list is secured.

Aside from keeping a secure list of your login details, you must also keep a record of people to contact in case of an emergency. Other than your loved ones or relatives, this list may include your estate planning attorney, doctor or other healthcare providers, and financial or religious advisors.

Preciseness is Key

Be precise about what your wishes and requests are in your will.

Whatever your funeral arrangements are, be specific with your wishes. It’s also important to make sure your loved ones what your preferences are, so they know what to do after you’re gone.

If you fail to inform them of your wishes while you’re still alive, at least make sure these wishes are written down as part of your estate planning documents.

Be Organized

Once you have all the important and relevant documents ready, find a trusted person to hold the paperwork. This paperwork will be rendered useless if your loved ones don’t know how to find them if something happens to you. Thus, make sure your trusted loved ones know how to find and access these essential documents.

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Find an Experienced Attorney

Estate planning and management is one of the best ways you can take control when unexpected circumstances happen to you. To make sure you are fully prepared, acquire the assistance of a lawyer specializing in estate planning.