Good estate planning requires follow-through.
You want to get your estate in order.
An effective estate plan involves more than just desire.
You must plan.
You must also follow through with your plan.
According to a recent ThinkAdvisor article titled “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way — if Loved Ones Can Find It,” a BMO survey of 1,008 Americans 18 and older found more than half—52 percent—had no will.
Fifty-six percent of individuals between 35 and 54 had no estate plan.
You do not get to decide where your assets are headed at your death.
Without any instructions from you the state will determine this for you.
Are you all set if you have a will?
A quarter of married couples who had power of attorneys and/or a will said only their spouse knew where it was located.
Things are not looking good if that spouse dies, too.
Communication is key to implementation.
You can avoid family divisions.
By talking with your family about your estate plan, you can equip them to understand your reasons.
You can also explain where to find the will when it is needed.
Once your estate plan is created, however, you still need to keep your estate plan updated.
Life changes can significantly influence your will.
- A birth in the family
- Purchasing life insurance
- Receiving an inheritance
- Changes in health
In addition to family unity and having input regarding your asset distribution, why should you have an estate plan?
A good estate plan will help you minimize tax liability for your estate.
How do you create an estate plan to meet your specific needs?
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: ThinkAdvisor (April 6, 2017) “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way — if Loved Ones Can Find It”