There are those who are under the impression that estate planning is not relevant to them “yet.” They see the exercise as something that applies only to “old folks.” To be fair we are all aware of the fact that the likelihood of your passing increases as you reach an advanced age. But the truth is that people of all ages pass away each and every day, and estate planning is in fact a core responsibility that goes along with becoming a mature, self supporting adult, especially if you have other people relying on your income.
With the above in mind one of the core elements of many estate plans is going to be life insurance. Most people are offered insurance on the job, and it is something to take very seriously. Where would your family be from a financial standpoint if your income was to suddenly vanish? And of course the level of life insurance coverage that is appropriate is going to change over years as your family grows, so it is a good idea to revisit it periodically.
Another basic element of estate planning is the selection of a method of transferring your assets. The most common vehicle is the last will. However, a last will is not your only choice and it may not always be the best one. When you use a last will to transfer assets to your loved ones your estate must pass through the process of probate.
There are pitfalls that go along with this process, and one of them is the fact that it is time-consuming and the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until the estate has been probated and closed. Probate is also costly, and it provides people with an open forum within which they could challenge your wishes. For these reasons some people choose to create revocable living trusts. This vehicle is a viable alternative that is a better choice in most instances.
To learn more about estate planning essentials, simply get in touch with an experienced estate planning attorney to arrange for an initial consultation.