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What you might not know about estate planning

No one enjoys thinking about a time when they are no longer around to provide for their family. Estate planning forces people to think about this, as well as make tough decisions about their lives. Estate planning is a complex process with many steps and components. It can be hard to figure out all aspects of an estate plan and there are a few parts that people may not be aware of at all.

Here are three elements of estate planning you might not know about:

Everyone should estate plan

Some people think there is a stereotype that estate planning is only for the ultra-wealthy so they can distribute their assets. However, estate planning is beneficial for everyone. Everyone should have a will in place and a method for splitting and dividing their financials and other assets after they die.

If you do not have an estate plan in place when you die, the government will determine what happens to your property and assets. These elements of your life will be distributed based on a court’s discretion and they may not end up where you want them to. This also can include appointing a guardian to your children and your kids’ inheritance.

You can include elements other than finances

Though estate planning is primarily used for dividing property and other assets, it can also include many other aspects of your life. You can include life insurance, name a guardian for your children, transfer your business and even include values you want passed on to your family (religion, education etc.) after your death in your estate plan.

Estate plans need to be updated

When laws change and life events happen, estate plans need to be updated. Your estate plan needs to be an accurate reflection of your life at the most recent point in time in order to be most effective. You should review your estate plan periodically to make sure everything is accurate.

A good estate plan has many components. You will want to make sure your estate plan is well thought out and secure. Creating an estate plan can be a long process but it will be worth it to gain peace of mind about your family’s future.