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Fundamental steps to planning an estate – Estate planning is mandatory before you die



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Do you know that you’re the owner of your estate? Don’t you? Well, most of us know we have an estate. Though ‘estate’ might seem like a complex term, in terms of a layman, it comprises everything you own, starting from your home, car, investments and all your personal belongings.

Regardless of how small or big your estate is, you wouldn’t be carrying that along with you after you expire. This is why estate planning is an important decision so that you can be sure of who inherits your assets after your death. You can seek the help of an estate planning lawyer in Reno in order to plan your estate. We’ll share with you some of the basic steps that you have to take.

  • Jot down an inventory of your assets and what you owe

The first step that you need to take in order to create an inventory is to compile a list of your debts and assets. This list should include your contact details, account numbers, the names of your creditors to who you owe money, and the contact details of your financial advisors. This summary should be kept in a safe and secured place and should have copies of vital documents.

  • Draft a will

As long as the basics of estate planning are concerned, it starts with having a testament and will. To put things simply, if you die without a will, the government will interfere in distributing your assets in accordance with the laws of the state. You may not know or agree with how the process goes. Hence, your first step is to draft a will where you name the person/persons who, according to you, should inherit your property.

  • Ensure minor children aren’t excluded

Do you have minor children in your family? If yes, you should write down the name of a guardian for them. The guardian is supposed to take care of that child after your death and the death of the parents of that child. You can’t forget that your minor children would require someone to tackle their property. Hence, be sure to name someone who will handle their financial matters. The person you name could be or not be the same as the physical guardian.

  • Make a POA 

A POA or a power of attorney gives authority to the person you choose to make decisions when you can’t. One should have a mandatory power of attorney for health care and a durable POA for handling all your finances. The person might be or might not be the same. But remember that your POA needn’t be your estate planning attorney.

Now that you’re done with all the hard work of gathering your estate planning documents, ensure they’re all kept in a safe place. The POA or the executor of your will should know where to find the documents. Be sure to inform everything to that person.

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