Estate Planning 101 with Wiegand

Some people are under the impression that estate planning is only for the extremely business lawyerwealthy but that is just not true.  If anyone has anything of value or importance and they wish to make sure it is taken care of once they are gone, no matter how big or small, then an estate plan is in order. The main reason that someone plans their estate is because they specifically want to leave something of importance to a specific person.  Often times that person does not even know that they were in someone else’s will or plan.  However, there are other reasons that someone might make an estate plan; it is not always leaving behind an object.  It is more than just writing out who in your family is allowed to claim your old jewelry, and how long they have to wait until they get it.

Certain issues also need to be addressed within an estate plan and they don’t have anything to do with who is receiving what necessarily.  For example, you should include in your estate plan details around your own burial or memorial service.  Having this in writing saves your family the trouble and it’s very helpful.  Do you want to be buried or cremated?  Will you have a service or just get put straight into the ground?  Where should your close family father to celebrate your life.  Along the same lines, you should identify your digital passwords and special information that your family might need to know to get access to your accounts.  Obviously that is not something that you should simply write down.  When the law office keeps it, no one else will know if exists.  The same goes for any social media account passwords, or anything that looks like it would keep going without you once you are gone.  If you want your heirs to stop your accounts then give them the ability to do so.

Another great thing to include in your estate plan is your life insurance policy, your retirement payout plan, or any other annuities of importance.  These will need to be accessed soon after your death by someone who can handle the payments and inform all who are involved.  Who better than your lawyer of course.  It makes things easier if your home and business lawyer already has copies.  Do you own real estate in more than one location or state?  If so, this is also some very important information to leave within your estate plan.  And, of course, make sure all those who are part of the reading of the will are going to be able to make it or are willing to make it.  Again, these small details are usually handled by the law team because of their delicacy and importance.  Either way, the  golden rule is if you don’t write it down it didn’t happen.  Please do not let that happen with your last will and testament, in the form of your estate plan.  With these rules followed, nothing will go wrong.

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