It can be difficult to get started on your estate planning. You are so committed to making the best possible plan for your family that you just do not know how to get the ball rolling. To help you start moving forward, take a moment to consider these three important questions:
1. Do you want to leave the same amounts to everyone?
When dividing assets, is equality your main goal? Many people do leave equal shares to all children in an effort to avoid disputes and show the children that they are not picking favorites. However, that could mean leaving the same amount to children with vastly different incomes, regardless of what they need in life.
2. How soon should you talk to the children?
Openness and honesty can go a long way. Do not avoid talking about money. In many cases, it is best to take this approach as soon as possible so that your children always understand what dreams you have for retirement, what you have in saving and what your spending habits look like — just to name a few key points.
3. Do you have any unique plans?
Your estate is more than money. How do you plan to distribute art, antiques and family heirlooms? This can get far more complicated, and a unique plan is needed to determine which children get which assets and how to make this as fair as you can.
If these questions help to jumpstart the process and get you working on your plan, make sure you know exactly what legal steps you’ll need to take.