Estate planning is an overlooked yet essential activity if you wish to leave a lasting legacy. The secret to estate planning is proper preparation to ensure everything is taken care of. Below is a comprehensive estate planning guide.
Establish the Estate Planning Laws
Your estate plan must comply with state or country laws. Otherwise, it could be declared void by the courts. Start by establishing the estate division laws. For instance, whom can you bequeath property? What are the rights of kids and spouses in your estate? What should you observe when writing a will? For instance, in Australia, valid wills must have two witnesses. Besides, the testator should be of sound mind when creating the will. Finally, examine the loopholes that individuals could use to dispute the will. For example, beneficiaries not included in the will could argue that you have a duty to provide for them.
These legalities and conditions could seem challenging to understand without any background in estate law. For this reason, hire an estate lawyer to guide you through the ropes as you formulate the estate plan. Remember to examine the lawyer's professionalism and expertise before engaging their services.
Ideally, you can only bequeath property in your name. Therefore, take measures to ensure all your assets are in your name. Online assets such as cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible-Tokens (NFTs) are untraceable if you do not transfer credentials to your beneficiaries. In this case, you could ensure the log-in credentials to online funds and assets are included in the will. Alternatively, you could authorise the company you invest in to transfer the funds and assets to specified beneficiaries once you die.
The will is a physical document detailing your asset management and transfer wishes after you die. Ideally, you should write the document under your lawyer's guidance to ensure it is indisputable. For example, the lawyer could recommend a non-contest clause to prevent unsatisfied family members from disputing the will. Furthermore, they could ask you to include an explanation letter to justify the asset distribution criteria.
Sometimes, you could opt to use estate planning tools such as trusts. It is especially so if you doubt whether beneficiaries will act in your best interests after you pass away. For instance, you could be worried that your child will sell your business. A trust empowers a third party to manage your wealth on behalf of the beneficiary. In return, the beneficiary receives proceeds at predetermined intervals.
For more information, contact a local firm like Neilson Stanton & Parkinson.