An estate plan can help you prepare for the future and protect your interests when you die. But if you are like many, you may not have started preparing this essential plan.
According to a survey completed by Caring.com, only 4 out of 10 adults in the U.S. have created a will or a living trust. If you have decided to start your estate plan, there are certain things you should do to ensure your success.
1. Start early
Many assume that estate planning is something you do when you get close to retirement. But life is unpredictable, so you should start your estate plan earlier than that. Once you begin to obtain assets or have your first child is a good time to start this plan.
2. Take an inventory of your assets
As you review your personal portfolio, take every valuable item you own into consideration. Make sure you look into including real estate, businesses you own, investment accounts and other valuables in your estate plan.
3. Share your documents and plans
Do not stick your estate planning documents in a file cabinet or another safe place and forget about them. Tell a trusted family member or friend where to find them in case something happens to you.
Once you start your estate plan, know that the documents you include will change and evolve over your lifetime. It is a good idea to review these documents at least once a year to ensure they always reflect your wishes.