Estate Planning is something that no one likes to talk about, but it’s one of the most important things to discuss regardless of the age or health of the person who is doing the planning. According to experts, roughly half of all Americans die without a will, or “intestate.”
Without a will to help families determine to whom, or how, assets should be administered, inheritance can be a loaded issue. Being clear about your intentions will help dispel potential conflicts after you’re gone. Discussing estate plans with heirs may prevent disputes or confusion and help keep the peace in a family.
One of the most important things that older adults should keep in mind when planning their estate is communication. No matter net worth or age, it’s important to have a basic estate plan in place and to communicate with family members about what that plan includes.
Taking inventory of all assets is a good place to start. Assets include retirement savings, insurance policies, investments, and real estate or business interests.
Ask these important three questions:
• Whom do you want to inherit your assets?
• Whom do you want handling your financial affairs if you’re ever incapacitated?
• Whom do you want making medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself?
Starting with the basics and speaking with family to begin the conversation, is the best start.