The Young Professional’s Guide to Estate Planning
As a young adult starting out in your professional career, you may not have thought about life insurance, wills, and dividing your assets in the event of your passing—but you should!
Whether you have started a family, or are planning to one day, it’s a good idea to decide how you want to take care of your family. This includes setting up a plan for distributing your hard-earned money and possessions, and it also includes planning for any periods during which you might be disabled or otherwise unable to handle your own affairs. Make sure your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone.
Create a Will
The first step in estate planning is making a will. The will clearly states how you want your assets divided, and who you want caring for your children. Your will should:
- Identify a personal representative or executor to carry out your wishes.
- Spell out how your debts and taxes should be paid.
- Instruct the next generation on how your assets should be administered and distributed.
- Nominate guardians for your children and their property.
A will can also serve as a backup to a living trust.
(The Probate Process)
Most wills go through probate to ensure that the property gets distributed correctly. The representative or executor that you appointed takes care of the process. The probate process can take a long time, and it is often best to have a professional represent your personal representative through this matter.
Set Up a Trust
Establishing a trust is another way to make sure your property is administered and distributed correctly, and a trust can provide for your care if you ever become incapacitated. With a trust, you can leave specific instructions for how the trustee handles and distributes the property. More benefits of a trust include:
- Remarriage protection. This protects your assets from a third party in the event that your spouse remarries after your death.
- Marriage protection. Ensures that your current spouse, and children from a previous marriage, are both protected.
- Creditor protection. Protects your assets from creditors and any creditors your beneficiaries may have in the future.
- Benefit protection. Helps beneficiaries keep their needs-based or asset-based government benefits.
If you decide to create a trust, it is important that the trust contain the assets you want the trust to administer. This crucial step typically includes updating beneficiary designations and titles to assets. If your assets are not properly set up to flow into the trust, your beneficiaries may not be able to utilize the full quality and protections of the trust. We can guide you through this process, every step of the way.
Estate planning is a whole new ballgame for many young professionals, but we know the process well. Bottlinger Law L.L.C is here to help. Give us a call at (402) 505-8234 for a free consultation.
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