In continuing our estate and trust planning series, we have already established important concepts in previous posts including how to determine your net worth and addressing the chance that you might become disabled and therefore unable to make decisions for yourself.
The next step in the process is to determine where you want your assets to go after you die.
It is important to take into consideration both your life situation and relationships now, as well as the possibility that they might change in the future. There are countless scenarios that could occur over the course of your life. Here are just a few to consider:
- You may not have children at the present moment, but you plan on having kids and know that you would want them to inherit your assets.
- Suppose you are married but not planning on having children – if your spouse were to pass away before you, to whom would you want your money to go?
- If you were to pass away tomorrow, are your children or heirs capable of responsibly handling their inheritance?
- Would you want to make sure a portion of your estate was left to your children from a previous marriage, rather than everything going to your current spouse?
- Do you want to leave a portion of your estate to a charity or non-profit organization?
- Do you have sentimental objects that you want to give to a specific person in the family?
One easy way to help you decide who you want to inherit your belongings is make a list of all of your assets and place a name beside that asset. This will help you get clear on your wishes as well as identify any roadblocks you might encounter in leaving assets to the beneficiaries of your choice.
For example, you might want to give the little cabin by the lake that your nephew enjoys each summer to him, but unless you put it in writing, there is no guarantee that he’ll get it. Did you put your ex-wife down as the beneficiary on your life insurance policy before you divorced but have yet to change it? Your new wife or kids from your new marriage could see nothing.
Turning this new list into an actual estate plan is where an experienced Orange County estate planning attorney comes in. We can help you take this portion of the plan and turn it into a complete guide for your family members upon your passing. Here at Morgan Law Group, we are fully committed to helping you make end-of-life decisions as easy as possible. Call us today at (949) 260-1400 for your free consultation.