As we begin the new year, we resolve to do things to make our lives better in 2013. Usually, resolutions include joining a health club to remove the extra pounds that were gained during the holiday season, among other things. Why not make estate planning one of your resolutions so that you can have peace of mind.
Some people procrastinate about estate planning until they receive a wake-up call, such as a health issue that is not fatal. They then take advantage of being given a second chance to address their estate planning needs. Unfortunately, many people are not granted a second chance. A heart attack, stroke, or a fatal accident, may foreclose any planning opportunities.
Now is the right time to contact an estate planning attorney to begin the process. Having a Living Trust, a will, advanced health care directives and a durable power of attorney is a good start. While creating these documents and considering the legacy you want to leave behind, additional estate planning tools can be entertained. It is important to establish an estate plan no matter what your age is, to make sure your wishes are carried out as you want and in a timely fashion.
During the holiday season, take time to reflect on 2012 and establish goals for 2013. Consider what you really want to do with your assets and how you want them to be distributed to your family. You might even want to consider a charitable bequest. Most importantly, begin the process and write down your ideas. Then set a deadline for meeting with an attorney to accomplish your wishes.
Here are some other things to consider doing in 2013 to preserve your financial health:
• Order a credit report to check for errors and take steps to have them corrected if any are found.
• Take a look at your year-end statements from your various investment accounts and make sure you are properly diversified and the investments are still consistent with your tolerance for risk and investment objectives.
• With interest rates at all-time lows, consider refinancing your mortgage and paying off credit card debts that carry high-interest rates.
Establishing an estate plan enables individuals to transfer wealth from one generation to another, to charities, or to some other individuals. It provides for your care in the event that you become unable to care for yourself and it designates someone to care for any minor children. Probate can be avoided and considerable estate taxes can be avoided.
Many decisions are necessary when creating an estate plan. By contacting an experienced Wisconsin estate planning lawyer, you can make well-informed decisions about how your wishes can be accomplished.
Daniel J. Krause at Krause Law Offices LLC has been focused on estate planning, wills, and trusts for over a decade. He can answer all of your questions and guide you through the process, just like he has helped others throughout the state.