It is commonly believed that unless you have a lot of money, you do not need to worry about having a will or doing any estate planning. However, if you sit down and think about everything you own, you may realize that you need to get things in order for when you are gone. While no one likes to believe they will be gone soon, accidents do happen. You do not want to leave your family and loved ones stressed over finances or things they always felt were theirs only to have them taken away or held up in court. Even if all you have is a small bank account, a retirement fund, and some life insurance, you need to make sure it is properly distributed if something happens to you. Here are a few things you need to think about to get your estate planned.
Marriage, divorce, and having children can alter who you want to receive many of your assets when you are gone. You may have originally listed your parents as the beneficiaries on your insurance policy, retirement fund, and even your bank account. As life changes, you need to be sure to keep all your financial paperwork up to date; otherwise, an ex-spouse could end up owning your home.
A good way to distribute your financial assets is with a trust fund. You can determine who receives what and when. A trust fund does not have to go through probate so your loved ones will not have to worry about anyone else trying to hone in on your money. In addition, you can put stipulations on how the money is spent, such as making sure your children pay for college before splurging on things like cars and parties.
Power of Attorney
It is always a good idea to give someone power of attorney over your finances and your medical decisions should you become unable to handle them yourself. You need to be sure this person will take care of things the way you would want them to be; this will ensure that no one else can try to claim you are incompetent and then proceed to do things you would not approve of.
While you may feel it is not going to matter to you what happens with your money if you have passed away, stop and think about what will happen to those you love. If your money is needed for simple living expenses, how will they fare without it? If you do not want them to struggle because of the loss of your income, make sure you have things arranged to help them. For more information, you can contact professionals like Bliss & Skeen CPAs.