How to Begin the Estate Planning Process
Proactive steps you can take now to avoid potential conflicts regarding your estate
Estate planning is one of the most important aspects of maintaining control over your financial affairs both during your lifetime and after your death. As we get older, we typically amass various different financial assets that can range from stock holdings, cash accounts, credit accounts, business interests and personal property. Without proper planning, your estate can become embroiled in contentious legal battles among your heirs and lead to years of expensive litigation.
One of the first steps you should take in the estate planning process is an in-depth evaluation of all financial holdings. A full and complete evaluation helps you to gain a complete picture of your estate and assists you in developing the best plan for your future as well the future of your loved ones. This process also allows you to identify areas of improvement. You may be able to consolidate accounts or modify your investment strategy. These steps can save you money by avoiding unnecessary fees and present new opportunities for wealth management. Consolidating accounts may also make it easier to distribute your estate upon your death.
Another step you should take as you evaluate your estate is to identify unnecessary credit accounts. Having multiple credit accounts without specific purposes opens the door for additional debt and may make it easier for identity thieves to find a way to access your financial accounts. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you understand your options and choose the most appropriate way to manage credit accounts while mitigating against negative credit score impacts.
One of the most important steps in the estate planning process is to decide who you trust to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated and after you die. This is often one of the most difficult decisions and requires a great deal of thought and introspection. It is important to choose someone who you fully trust to carry out your wishes and make decisions according to your best interests. This can be a daunting task but taking control of your financial affairs now paves the way for a smooth transition in the future.
At Kitroser & Associates, our dedicated North Palm Beach estate planning attorneys are here to provide the resources and advice you need to make the best decisions possible, based on your specific needs. To discuss your options, call 561-721-0600 or send a confidential email today. Our office is conveniently located in North Palm Beach on US Highway 1.