If you ever wondered when is the right time to get with an attorney for setting up an estate, that means you are ready to do it now. There is no rules or set time to say if the timing is perfect, but it is the most unselfish thing a person can do for the loved ones they leave behind. Everyone knows we can be taken from this world at a moment’s notice. It does not matter if we are healthy, young, or old. Anytime a person goes through a major life event such as getting married or having kids is the ideal time to start thinking about the processes into estate planning. There are a couple of steps in estate planning which needs to be reviewed with an attorney to cover all the legal statuses of what each person has worked so hard all their life to obtain.
Inventory of Assets
Getting with an attorney you trust to help you with every step needed is the best way to go about legal issues such as setting up an estate. The first thing is to figure out what assets are involved for the attorney to draw up the legal documentation. The home and land is the first thing which would come to mind, but there are other properties and investments a person owns which must never go by the wayside. There are some forms of documentation you will need to have in hand when beginning this process. Some of the forms needed will be all bank account information, insurance policies, RRSPs, marriage certificate, tax returns usually from the last five to seven years, and all titles of what the person owns.
The next step would be to figure out what everything is worth. Some items like the home and property grow in value over time while things like vehicles devalue with age. It is extremely important to know all of this information as soon as possible when drawing up these plans. The lawyers can assist their clients by directing them to people who can appraise everything. Some things the lawyer may know off hand but an appraiser will complete an up to date version with everything including a projectile over time.
Knowing the estate’s tax bill now can ease the pressure off the minds of your loved ones left behind. It is hard enough knowing your loved ones will go on through the rest of their lives without you. Taxes can be the biggest headaches when we are alive and well. It can bring an adult to their knees when lump sums are due during the income tax season alone. No one should leave their loved ones in this situation so it is best to get it out the way now. This is one factor of the estate lawyer’s specialties.
The one form that will stand the test of time after you are gone is the will. The estate lawyer can help you with this and put it into legal binding terms which will hold up in court. One of the biggest fights is after a person is gone is who gets what. Having the will drawn up now will set everything in stone and there will be no questions or disputes among the remaining family members. You have full control of who gets what after you are gone and no one can be cheated out of anything from your estate. The bills get paid first, then the remaining get divided according to the will. All lawyers go by this document and follow it to the strictest rules.
All Finances and Bills
As mentioned in the previous step, all bills must be paid off first. Any leans on any property or possessions will be paid off either through the life insurance policy or the value of the estate. One of the things a person must consider while they are alive is figuring out who will be the most trusted person to become the power of attorney. Once a person is decided, the power of attorney will be in charge of handling the person’s finances while the party is still living but unable to handle their finances. The power of attorney loses all authority after the person passes away. All finances must be taken care of or else the estate will cover the remaining bills. Everything goes into the lawyer’s hands once the person passes away.
All Special Situations
Children from a previous marriage, minors, or disabled parties included in the will must be considered. This is where the worst issues happen. If not mentioned, these individuals stand a great chance of getting overlooked as beneficiaries. With all of these steps taken, you can rest assured all will be covered after your work here is done.