Nobody wants to spend too much time thinking about death, but the importance of proper estate planning is paramount to the people in your life who you will leave behind. It may sound morbid and slightly daunting, but some simple pre-planning will make your passing a little easier for your family and friends once you are gone. So, what is Estate Planning?
Estate planning put clearly is arranging your assets so that the people you wish to benefit from your passing do so, and aren’t left with nothing. Your assets can be anything that you own including:
- personal savings,
- personal items,
- and so forth.
By planning your estate, you can rest assured that your assets will be transferred to the person or people you wish them to go to after you are gone.
When you begin your estate planning you will be asked to make a Will if you haven’t already done so. A Will is a lawful document which explicitly states what will become of your possessions and property once you have gone and decide who will receive these assets according to your wishes. Having a valid Will and testament will help your chosen executor to apply for probate if its required.
If you consent to hand over your property to a single person or a particular organisation this is called a Trust. The person or trustee you have appointed responsibility to is then in control of the property on behalf of your chosen beneficiary or beneficiaries.
You can assign a power of attorney to either a person or organization who will then be granted legal power to sort out your affairs when you no longer can.
There is no right or wrong time to plan your estate for future comfort. The only criteria is that the person must be over the age of 18 and legally competent when planning their estate.
You can access and change your estate at any time during your life if your circumstances or wishes happen to change.