Estate planning is actually a responsibility that is often overlooked or postponed until later, because nobody likes the idea of talking or discussing things relating to the ultimate end. An estate planning discussion could be quite depressing and your mood would be of the moment you visualize your death. But you simply cannot ignore certain responsibilities and you cannot undermine the importance of chalking out an estate plan while you are fit and healthy. Remember that people who die without a proper estate plan, their financial issues would be a total mess and they would be leaving their heirs with quite a lot of issues along with the legacies. Irrespective of your age, here are a few things you need to accomplish at once in terms of an estate planning:
Chalk Out a Will
It is quite surprising to know how many people fail to make a will. As per a survey, it was found that 51% of the Americans in the age group of 55 to 64 years and 62% of Americans in the age group of 45 to 54 years do not have any sort of a will in place. You need to come up with a will. Although, a will that has been drafted according to the advice and under the guidance of a qualified estate planning attorney, may prove to be quite an expensive affair. This is simply because a valid or a legally viable will would be saving your heirs from some critical issues related to ambiguity and probate. Get in touch with the specialists in estate planning for doctors for effective and prompt solutions.
Provide and Attach Relevant Documents to Your Will
Depending on your precise estate planning requirements, this could be including some sort of trust or maybe multiple trusts, durable medical and financial powers of attorney, your living will, and transfer on death deed. You must be aware that a living will is quite different from a ‘Durable Medical Power of Attorney’. A Living Will would be making your actual wishes known in the case of life-prolonging medical issues and treatments. However, a Durable Medical Power Of Attorney would be authorizing another party that would be making medical decisions on your behalf suppose you are not able to make those decisions or you are incapacitated. Estate planning attorneys usually, recommend that you must keep both the Living Will and the Durable Medical Power Of Attorney handy.
Appraisal of All Beneficiary Designations
Whom have you chosen as your IRA beneficiary or your 401(k)? Who is the chosen beneficiary of your life insurance policy or annuity? If you do not remember clearly as it has been quite a while since you have checked these documents then make it a point to examine these documents thoroughly and verify who the actual beneficiaries are. You must ensure that all your beneficiary decisions are ratified in your will and rule out any scope for disagreement or dispute. Some of you have no idea that beneficiary designations will be given more importance than will inheritances in the case of life insurance, retirement accounts, and all other non-probate assets.
Generate a Debt List and an Asset List
You must consider helping out your heirs by providing them with a comprehensive asset and debt lists which could guide them when you are no more so that they are able to get a clear idea about your property and assets. One list must contain personal property and real property. The second list must include all your financial accounts including your brokerage and bank accounts, your insurance policies, investments, and retirement accounts. Yet another list must contain debt details including HELOC or your mortgage, credit card debts, or any outstanding consumer loan.
We have tried to discuss the main items included in an estate planning checklist for physicians yet, there are some more things that require mentioning. You could consider gifting away with the aim of compressing the size of your taxable estate. Most importantly, you must choose a competent and reliable executor. Remember that everyone must have an estate plan not necessarily because of money. You must have an estate plan in place if you have a business of your own, a blended family, and children with special needs, if you are disgusted whenever you imagine probate delays, or concerned about dementia. These are some extremely valid reasons for creating and maintaining estate planning stratagem.