Studies show that only 33% of people in the United States have an estate plan in place. While current world events have led to increased awareness about the importance of having an estate plan, many people simply do not know where to start when creating a will, trust, or any other end-of-life document.
Learning more about the basics of estate planning, and finding Watertown attorneys to help, can make this process simpler and less overwhelming.
Are you looking for a lawyer near me or attorneys near me? Keep reading this guide for everything you need to know about estate planning and hiring Watertown lawyers to help you plan!
What Is Estate Planning?
What is estate planning? It is an important step you need to take for end-of-life planning and will give you control over your assets and your estate even after you have passed away.
Almost everyone has an estate, even if you don’t think that you do. Your estate is compromised of anything you own. This includes your car, real estate, savings, investments, and personal possessions.
Estate planning allows you to name the people that you want to receive all of these assets and possessions after you die. It can also include specific instructions and arrangements for yourself if you are incapacitated or disabled before you die.
Because estate planning requires a lot of legal knowledge, finding an estate planning attorney will make this process much simpler and can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes with your estate.
Who Needs Estate Planning?
When it comes to creating a will or a living trust, it may not be a priority for you. However, everyone needs an estate plan! This will ensure that your assets go exactly where you want them to once you have passed away.
While you may think that you are young and healthy and don’t need to start estate planning, you must create an estate plan to prepare for the unknowns.
This way, your assets and family will be protected in the event of an accident or other unforeseen circumstance.
What Documents Are Included in Your Estate Plan
Your estate plan is comprised of many other documents that are necessary for your end-of-life planning. Having each of these documents in your estate plan will ensure that your affairs are in order if you were to pass away.
First, you need a last will and testament. This will allow you to list any beneficiaries for your assets and properties, name a guardian for your minor children, and will allow you to name a personal representative that will carry out your will once you have passed.
You may also include a revocable living trust. This type of trust can be canceled at any time and can be used to avoid probate.
Other documents you should include in your estate plan are your beneficiary designations, your advance healthcare directives, and your financial power of attorney.
You can also include other last wishes, including your funeral instructions.
How to Prepare an Estate Plan
There are many steps that you must follow when you are creating an estate plan. Luckily, you can search for “lawyers near me” to get help with your estate plan. They will help you with each step of the estate planning process.
First, they will ask you about your assets and belongings. This may include your homes, land, or real estate investments, vehicles, personal possessions, savings accounts, life insurance policies, and more.
Next, you need to establish your directives. This way, you can designate your estate to go toward certain things and you will be protected legally.
Your estate planning attorney will also go through each of your beneficiaries to ensure that the right people get your assets when you have passed. You should also have a list of contingent or backup beneficiaries if your original beneficiary dies before you do.
When to Start Estate Planning
While estate planning may seem like something only old people need to do when they are dying, this is simply not true. Many people recommend that you start creating a plan for your estate as soon as you become a legal adult.
If you don’t create an estate plan once you are an adult, you should definitely start estate planning if you get married or have children that depend on you.
Other life events that could impact your need for estate planning are becoming a homeowner, getting divorced, or when you have money or other assets that you have inherited.
If you are ready to start creating a plan for your estate, finding local lawyers can make this process simple and efficient.
Looking for an Estate Attorney Near Me? Our Watertown Attorneys Can Help
Estate planning is necessary to help you plan and prepare for the future. Learning more about the basics of estate planning and what it entails will allow you to get the help you need for your end-of-life planning.
If you have been searching for an “attorney near me” and need help from Watertown attorneys, we can help!
Contact Watertown Law today to learn more about our estate planning services and to ensure that your estate is handled correctly.