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Smart estate planning means focusing on what is important

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Estate Planning

When people in Kentucky take the wise and necessary step of creating an estate plan, they are often unsure of how to proceed. This is true whether the person has substantial assets or is of more modest means. Before moving forward, writing the will and having it executed, people need to focus on their priorities. These can differ based on individual circumstances. Concentrating on the basics is wise from the outset.

Circumstances dictate how to craft an estate plan

People need to look at their personal and professional situation as they create their estate plan. An older person who owns a home, a business and has a spouse, children and grandchildren will have different needs and objectives than a person who is younger and is just starting out in adulthood. This makes it important to ask specific questions when creating the plan.

It is essential to think about the assets a person has, what they are worth, how they want their property to be handled, who their executor will be, what type of plan is right for them, and where all their key documents are. Those who have a business might need to think about a plan of succession. If they are the only one who can run it based on their education and skills, it might be better to order it to be liquidated or sold after death with the proceeds going to loved ones.

Naming heirs is key with a will. The person – known as the testator – could want their spouse to receive the bulk of the assets. They might also have children. In some instances, the person simply splits their remaining property among their kids. In others, they want to have unequal distribution. There might even be a person omitted entirely.

Going point by point, people should pay strict attention to what is most crucial to them. Some want security for their loved ones. Others want to be generous and give much of their estate to charity. There could be a loved one who is handicapped and needs to be cared for over the long term. They could be fearful of being unable to make their own decisions due to a condition or illness and want to have a trusted person handle their affairs if they face this challenge.

Estate planning is imperative and should be prioritized

Regardless of what a person’s objectives are, the fundamentals should come to the forefront by getting started on a will or other estate planning strategy. That means having a plan and seeking guidance to achieve it.

Estate planning does not need to be rushed and it does not need to be complicated. People are prone to putting it off. However, it is a way to make sure their property goes where they want it to and their loved ones are protected. It is critical to put a plan in place and knowing what to prioritize and the options is an essential first step.