There is no single default process for creating your first estate plan. This does not mean, however, that every approach is equally effective! Planning out the steps you want to take allows you to proceed with both speed and efficiency. A solid map to your desired destination will allow you to implement an estate plan with minimal headaches and disruption.
Here are three general steps for attacking estate planning for the first time:
- Set goals
Don’t create an estate plan just because you don’t have one. Create an estate plan because you want to reach both short-term goals and long-term aspirations. For example, your primary goal may be naming a guardian for your children. Other people may prioritize asset protection or guidance for their heirs via a trust. Goals are a good starting point. What do you want to accomplish with an estate plan?
- Learn the basics
You don’t have to be an estate planning expert, but it’s best to have some knowledge of the basics. Think of this like creating a solid foundation for your estate planning structure. Do you know what a will is? How about a living trust? What about a power of attorney? The more you learn about the basics the more confidence you’ll have with the whole process.
- Ask questions
You’re going to have questions. It’s natural! We become concerned, as a matter of fact, when clients don’t have questions for us. Listing these questions is an initial step, but answering those questions is the most important component. You can search for answers online, but the search results will typically lack nuance for your specific situation. It’s best to consult with an estate planning attorney in addition to doing your own research.
Your first attempt at estate planning doesn’t have to be a stressful process. There is no reason for it to drag on indefinitely. When you take the three steps above, you’ll find yourself consistently moving toward the end of the process—toward your goals.
Contact the Slaton Schauer Law Firm at this link or give us a call at (512) 258-9455 if you plan to attack estate planning for the first time. We’ll schedule a consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney.