The loss of a loved one at any age can be a trying time. As family members mourn, issues of inheritance, probate and relative distributions can make one sweat. If you are part of the Baby Boomer generation – born between 1946 and 1964 – you are quickly approaching retirement age and may face unique situations down the road.
If you don’t have an up-to-date estate plan, now is a good time to meet with an estate planning attorney to get started. According to a 2019 Caring.com survey, more than half of Americans don’t have basic estate planning documents, such as a will or living trust. Baby Boomer or not, determining how and who your possessions and assets should go to can help avoid heartache in the future.
Even if you don’t consider yourself individually wealthy, owning a car, house, or having money in a savings account means Baby Boomers need to consider estate planning as soon as possible.
Here are four essential estate planning tips to keep in mind:
Make a List
It’s crucial to find out what each person in your family wants and put that into writing. Making it official gives you the power to decide what is in the best interest of the people in your life. It can help determine what will happen to your possessions that have financial or sentimental value.
Also, make sure you draw up a list of where these inheritable items are located. Anything that makes things easier for your family is worth considering.
Start Family Discussions Now
It would be wise to schedule a time to meet with your family. It’s better to communicate your estate wishes now while you are in good health as opposed to having your family guess as your health declines or after you pass. While it may seem silly or illogical to take this step early, organization is a big-picture leap that can save your family time and money.
Keep Up with Changes
To some, a will seems like a one-time deal. However, you know how many changes a person can go through during a year’s time. Perhaps you have gotten married, divorced, had a birth in the family, moved to a new state or purchased real estate. All these things are more than enough reason to revise your will and make sure it meets the proper requirements.
Anticipate Possible Disputes
If you have more than one child, it is safe to assume that your children may not always agree with the placement of every piece of family property. If you have a house, one child may want to keep it and raise their family in it, while the other may want to sell it.
There are ways to help soften potential family turmoil. Having an estate planning document in place can help everyone sleep at night. You can make the decisions ahead of time and avoid the dark possibility of a family tearing at the seams. Giving gifts early would not be a bad idea, either.
If you have any questions about the estate planning process or need to set up a will and/or living trust, Burrows Law Group is more than happy to assist. We have an experienced team that can navigate the entire process and keep your best interests in mind. Call 972-703-4004 to speak to one of our estate planning attorneys today!