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While no one wants to spend a lot of their time thinking about the end of their own life, if you want those that you love to be taken care of once you’re no longer here to look after them, it’s wise to start thinking about estate planning long before the need arises.
If this is something that you’ve been needing to get taken care of, here are three tips for preparing to start estate planning.
Think Of Your Family’s Life After You’re Gone
Because you’re here to financially and emotionally help your family and other loved ones now, it can sometimes be hard to imagine what needs your family will likely have when you’re not here to meet those needs for them. But if you want your loved ones to be comfortable long-term, you’ve got to try to think about what they’ll need when you’re gone.
According to Kay Bell, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, some of the things you’ll want to consider as you think about helping out your family once you’re no longer alive are how your life insurance might be put to use and who will be caring for your children or other family members that depend on you. As you plan your estate, you’ll want to try to make the best decisions in these areas so that everyone you care about will have what they need, both financially and emotionally, after you’ve passed on.
Know What You Want
In addition to thinking ahead to what your family’s needs will be, you’ll also need to think long and hard about what your own needs are. Without knowing these things, you can’t effectively create a plan for your estate, as you won’t have made the necessary decisions.
When deciding what you want to be done near the end of your life and after you have died, Consumer Reports advises that you not forget to think about creating advanced health directives for your doctors or loved ones to follow if you can no longer make medical decisions for yourself. So although it can be hard to think about things like this, try to imagine some possible scenarios and how you’d want your loved ones to proceed on your behalf.
Embrace List Making
Even after you’ve gone through the process of planning your estate, something you hadn’t thought about or planned for at the beginning will likely come up. So to ensure that you get this and any other items taken care of, Troy Segal, a contributor to Investopedia.com, advises that you keep a list of things that you’ll need to address or readdress with your current estate plan. This way, you won’t forget these important items next time you meet with your attorney or other estate planning assistant.
If you’re getting ready to do your estate planning for the first time, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you through this process.
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