Time To Make Plans? 3 Things You Need To Know About Your Estate

Estate planning can be confusing. You want to make sure that everything is taken care of before you pass away, but it's not always easy to know how to put those plans into action. If you're not sure how to plan your estate, here are three tips that will help get you started.

You Need a Trust

If you have a will, you might want to consider switching to a trust. Wills are designed to designate how your assets are divided, which is fine if you only have a few simple assets. However, if your estate is more complex, you need a trust. This is particularly true if you want to avoid probate.

There are several problems involved with the probate process. One problem is that your entire estate will be tied up in court until the probate judge releases your will. That means your loved ones will have to wait for an undetermined amount of time to access funds that they might desperately need.

Another problem with the probate process is that your privacy is not protected. Because court proceedings are a matter of public record, once your will enters probate, everything in the document will open for public disclosure.

Even Adults Need Guardians

If your health is declining, or you're entering the early stages of Alzheimer's, you're going to need a guardian to look over your estate. Sadly, research shows that more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer's. You need to make sure that someone will be available to make choices for you when you're no longer able to do so for yourself.

You Might Need a Third Party Designee

When you're planning your estate, choosing an administrator for your estate is one of the most difficult decisions you can make. This is particularly true if you're trying to designate one of your children to be the administrator. You don't want to alienate your children, or create the appearance of favoritism. The best way to prevent animosity is to choose a third-party designee. A third-party designee will have no family ties to you, which means that their choices will be unbiased.

Now that it's time to start making your end-of-life decisions, you need to make sure that your estate is in order. The information that's provided here will help you avoid problems when it comes time to settle your estate. For questions and concerns about your estate planning, be sure to speak to an attorney like one from Spillman and Partners.