Husband And Wife Affectionately Exchanging Christmas Gifts

Estate planning may sound like something that only fabulously wealthy people need to do, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you are an adult, you need an estate plan. If you have children, you really need an estate plan. And if you own something that you would like to give to someone else when you die, you need an estate plan. In other words, estate planning is a means of protecting your assets, regardless of their monetary value. If you fail to do any estate planning, the state you live in might be the entity that controls everything from your favorite concert t-shirt collection to your IRA.

People of all ages need to do estate planning, even Millennials who are just starting to consider themselves grown-ups. These important tasks are outlined in “Why Everyone Needs a Will (I’m Talking to You, Millennials)” on credit.com.

  • Designate Your Beneficiaries. You can list your beneficiaries on your retirement accounts (401(k), 403(b), IRA, etc.) when you complete the application. Likewise, you can designate your beneficiaries on bank and investment accounts by setting up a TOD (Transfer on Death) designation. It’s easy to do and costs nothing. Remember that beneficiary designations supersede any wish you make in a will.
  • Draft Your Will. A will is a legal document and is a written statement of your intentions, including where you want your possessions to go and how you want the orderly disposition to happen. See an attorney, as each state has different laws.
  • State Your Health Care Wishes. Use a Health Care Proxy to let someone you trust make health care decisions and carry out your health care wishes in the event that you are incapacitated.
  • Sign a Durable Power of Attorney. This form allows someone you trust to make financial decisions in the event you are unable to do so. There is a huge difference between a limited power and durable power of attorney. Talk to your estate planning attorney about these documents.

An experienced estate planning attorney can spend time with you and review your estate issues, complete a will, health care proxy, durable power of attorney, and check beneficiaries, as well as any tax issues. Use an attorney who specializes in this area to ensure your wishes are properly documented and you achieve what you are trying to accomplish, now and in the future.

Reference:  credit.com (September 11, 2015) “Why Everyone Needs a Will (I’m Talking to You, Millennials)

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.