Deciding what goes into an estate plan can be both simple and complicated. For example, creating a list of one’s assets in a will might seem easy enough at first, but there are usually extra steps for things like retirement accounts or insurance benefits. Even making sure that a will contains an accurate and complete list of assets can be quite a task. This is why some people in Lake Charles might find it helpful to ask themselves these estate planning questions.
To whom should I leave my assets? Most people think that this is an easy question to answer, but after giving it some thought, it usually turns out to be much more difficult. Ultimately, assets can go to family, friends, the government or charity. Carefully considering where or with whom one would like property to end up will inform much of the estate planning process, like whether to gift certain assets, create a trust or change account beneficiaries.
Do I need to worry about taxes? Taxes are unavoidable — sometimes even after death — but both revocable and irrevocable trusts can eliminate some of the worry around estate taxes. These trusts offer different protections and have varying implications, so it is important to carefully weigh one’s personal needs.
Am I done? Creating an estate plan can be a big undertaking, but leaving one untouched for years and years can almost be as problematic as not having one in the first place. Estate planning is an ongoing process, so Lake Charles residents should be sure to check back in regularly and update their documents when needed.