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  • Kelliher & Beyer LLP

Quick Guide to Estate Planning

Estate planning means determining how your assets are divided upon your death or incapacitation. It’s a great way to ensure that your wishes are met in regards to beneficiaries while minimizing taxes they’ll need to pay.

Many people assume that if they don’t have a large estate, this step isn’t important. That’s actually not true. If you own anything, it’s important to designate beneficiaries. Get started with these few steps.

1. Take An Inventory

First and foremost, you need to determine everything you have of any value – either monetary or personal. This includes any real estate, vehicles, collectible coins and art, and even your great grandmother’s dining set that you promised your daughter. Don’t forget any investment accounts and life insurance policies.

2. Determine the Specifics

This is where you’ll specify who gets what – including the dining set. You’ll also need to designate a person or an entity that you wish to handle your estate. They’ll need a power of attorney set up to take over if you pass or become incapacitated.

Additionally, you’ll want to define your medical care directives. This includes things like who will make decisions on your behalf should you not be able to do so yourself.

3. Consider Getting Help

There are many laws, rules, and regulations that come into play with estate planning. Your goal is to protect and provide for your family in the event that you can’t. However, if you don’t follow these rules and laws, they could end up dealing with a heavier burden than you ever hoped they’d have to.

An estate planning professional can walk you through your entire process. Unless you stay up to date on everything, having a professional is the best way to go. They can recommend the best path to take regarding your estate, and make sure you meet all regulations.

4. Plan to Update

Everyone knows how quickly life can change. In the blink of an eye, the world can shift beneath your feet. That’s why it’s important to make time to reassess your estate plan regularly. Also, any time your family experiences changes, such as a new baby or the death of a family member, revise your plan accordingly.

Revisions can take some time, but they’re necessary. This is another area that a professional can help. They can simplify the revision process and help ensure that everything is still aligned properly and legally.

Whether you're at the beginning of your estate planning journey or need to revise, our team can help. Schedule a consultation today to get started.

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