Make It Legal: A Simple Estate Planning Guide

Less than 50% of Americans 55 or older have estate plans prepared and ready.

An estate plan is the written directions for how your assets are to be managed in case you die or become incapacitated. Many Americans are scared of death, but avoiding the topic doesn’t mean that you won’t ever die. Instead, every adult should have an estate plan ready in case something unexpected happens to them.

Keep reading this simple estate planning guide to learn the main steps to help you plan for the future.

Choose an Executor

One of the best tips for planning an estate is to carefully choose your executor. An executor is a person that will be in charge of making sure all of your wishes are carried out. This person will also handle your finances, such as paying off any debts and making sure your accounts are settled after your death.

Most people will choose their spouse or next of kin to be their executor, but you can choose any trusted adult to take on this role. Just make sure that no matter who you choose, you talk to them about this big decision first.

To ensure that you’re naming your executor legally, be sure to consult an estate planning expert such as

Plan Before Death Events

Wondering what to do to plan an estate? Many people don’t realize that estate planning also includes planning for things that may happen before your death.

If you become incapacitated and are unable to make your own decisions about your health, your executor will take over. You can let them know if you want to be on life support, what life-saving measures you want to be taken, and any other medical directives.

In addition, you can grant your executor the ability to handle your finances and your assets while you’re still alive but mentally unable to handle the responsibility.

Decide on After-Death Arrangements

Your after-death arrangements will make up the majority of your estate plan.

The first things you’ll decide on are your funeral and burial arrangements. This includes whether you want your remains to be cremated, where you want to be buried, and the details of your visitation.

This is also when you’ll decide how you want your assets to be divided. Be sure to be very specific with these instructions so there are no arguments over who gets what after you are gone.

Use This Estate Planning Guide to Plan for the Future

After reading this simple estate planning guide, it’s time to start creating your very own estate plan. Don’t leave your loved ones with the task of figuring out everything on their own after your death.

Start by picking an executor that you trust to be in charge of your estate details and make sure they’re okay with the responsibility. Then, plan the before death details, such as your health care advanced directives. Then, decide on the after-death arrangements, including your funeral wishes and distribution of assets.

Just because you plan for the future, doesn’t mean that you’re ready to die. Looking to improve your health and hopefully lengthen your life? Head to the Health section of this site for all the best tips and tricks.

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