People tend to make mistakes when "freelancing" their own estate planning.
You are finally doing it.
You are buckling down and creating an estate plan.
Where do you start?
According to a recent New Hampshire Union Leader article titled “Estate planning is important and may require help from a professional,” you should start with the securing your experienced estate planning attorney.
Some situations demand more care.
What are they?
If you have an estate exceeding the federal gift or the federal estate tax exclusion level, you should seek assistance.
In 2019, this amount was $11.4 million.
If you have minor children, you will need to take care of their guardianship and protect their inheritance should something happen to you.
If you have a loved one with special needs, you will need to take care not to disqualify him or her from important government benefits.
Owning your own business requires its own "succession" planning should you become disabled, retire, or "be retired," so to speak.
If you own property in more than one state, you may need help from attorneys in each state.
Prioritizing your charitable donations is important and needs to be done as efficiently as possible.
Any collectibles or artwork will require extra care in your planning.
If you have specific thoughts concerning health care, you must include these in your estate plan.
If avoiding probate is a priority, you may or may not need more complex estate planning.
What if you do not know what you need?
What if you just do not know what you do not know?
Discussing your situation with an experienced estate planning attorney can help.
He or she will help you determine and establish goals for your estate plan, then create the necessary tools to achieve them.
Once plan is established, be sure to review and update it as laws and family situations change.
Reference: New Hampshire Union Leader (July 27, 2019) “Estate planning is important and may require help from a professional”