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Estate planning steps to get started


Many people in the Kent area look forward to retirement. Retirement is a time for relaxing, traveling and doing things that a person couldn't do when they had to work. Planning ahead for retirement by saving money is an important step for all workers. As well as saving money, estate planning should also be a step in a retirement plan.

An estate plan includes many different parts. There are basic steps that should be taken in order to create an estate plan for a family's needs. With these steps a person can set up a plan to pass assets to their heirs or charitable organizations and ensure that their wishes are met. First, a person should decide what is important to them and what they want the estate plan to accomplish. All financial documents should also be organized. Retirement account information should be located, including IRA accounts, 401Ks and pension plan information and beneficiary information should be updated. Consolidate life insurance policies and gather all bank account information. List out all financial assets to help determine who should get what. In addition, important estate planning documents should be created. These include wills, trusts, a healthcare directive and powers of attorney. Once the plan has been created, share it with those who are involved with it. Also update the plan after any major life event.

Although the idea of creating an estate plan can be depressing and not a priority for most families, it is a critical step to ensure a family's legacy is established for many generations. It is important to know what documents a family needs and how to help a person feel at peace with their decisions.

Planning for the inevitable is not a pleasant thought and most people don't rush into it. But, once the estate planning documents are created, it can help a person know they are protecting their loved ones and leaving behind a legacy.

Source: retireplan.about.com, "The one thing most retirement plans are missing", Scott Spann, May 17, 2016

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