When you start nearing retirement age in Washington, it’s very important to make sure you have an estate plan in place. If you’ve already written some documents, review your plans and make sure they’re still updated. And if you haven’t started, it’s important to act now before it’s too late. Here’s what you should consider during the estate planning process.
What are some important aspects of estate planning?
Estate planning goes well beyond writing a will. While a will is important, you should also remember to name beneficiaries for all your accounts. This can include bank accounts, retirement funds and life insurance policies. If you don’t designate a beneficiary, your assets could end up going to the wrong people.
You should also put together a list of everything that your family needs to know when they assess your will. This could include contact information for your attorney, important financial documents, a list of assets and other information. If everything is together in one place, your family will find it much easier to distribute your assets according to your wishes.
It’s also important to choose both a health care proxy and someone with power of attorney. Your health care proxy can make important medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to make them yourself. Likewise, the person with power of attorney can make financial decisions for you. You’ll need to choose people you trust to make the right decisions.
You can also write a living will that provides detailed instructions for your medical and end-of-life care if you’re ever incapacitated. It’s important to make these decisions now while you’re healthy and of sound mind. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
How might an attorney help you with your estate plan?
Many people have declined to hire an attorney when they made their estate plans. They ended up making costly mistakes without realizing it, and when they died, it was too late to change anything. You could keep this from happening to your family by hiring an attorney to help you plan your estate.