No one likes to think about dying. However, if you own property and other assets, you really need to start your estate planning as soon as you can. The reason people plan their estates and have wills drafted is so all of their assets, belongings, and money will go to the right people. If you pass away before doing estate planning, you will not have complete control over what happens to your wealth. Here are three things you need to consider when making estate plans.
1. The number of children you have.
If you have more than one child, it can make estate planning a bit tricky. You might not want to make any of your children feel that you love one of their siblings more than you love them, but you also might not have enough assets to distribute evenly. For instance, if you have two children, but only one house, you would likely want to leave the house to both of your children instead of the one.
Or you could leave one child the house and another a substantial amount of money. Either way, you will want to do everything you can to ensure your children don’t feel slighted and hold resentment toward each other as a result of your will.
2. Any charitable organizations close to your heart.
A lot of people will leave assets and/or money to charitable organizations after they pass away. This can be a good thing, but you will need to think about if that organization will still be around when you pass away. You should make sure your estate lawyer puts a contingency plan in the will in the event that your favorite charity is no longer solvent at the time of your death. This will help keep your money and assets out of the wrong hands or going to the government instead.
3. Your spouse at the time of your death.
While most people will leave the majority of their wealth to their spouse, many will mention them in the will by name. If you are no longer married to that spouse at the time of your death, they could still end up with your assets and money. That is why it is always important to update your will regularly. That way, if you are going through a divorce, you can change the will and make sure your soon-to-be-ex doesn’t get anything after you pass away.
What happens to your wealth after you pass away is up to you. When it comes to estate planning, you need to think very carefully about who will get what. So, be sure to hire a good estate attorney and update your will annually, at least, to keep it up-to-date in the event of your death. For more information, contact Wotitzky, Wotitzky, Ross & McKinley or a similar firm.