What should you prioritize in South Carolina estate planning?
Estate planning allows you to make decisions about the transference of assets. These assets typically go to your loved ones after you die, and proper estate planning makes your wishes known. You can also include plans for your estate if you become incapacitated. While specific assets and debts may determine what estate plans you make, you should incorporate certain essentials.
When you begin estate planning, you may create multiple documents that designate your wishes. These documents may include:
- Your last will and testament
- Living will
- Durable power of attorney
- Health care power of attorney
The best way to make certain that your assets go to the right heir involves creating beneficiaries. It’s a good idea to designate beneficiaries in your will and trust. In addition, since many of your assets may remain in financial accounts, you should choose a beneficiary for each of your accounts and insurance policies. These accounts include:
- Bank accounts
- Life insurance
- 401(k) plans
Discussions with loved ones
Estate planning conversations with loved ones can involve two topics that people find it difficult to talk about: death and money. However, if you do not choose these conversations as part of your overall plans for your estate while you are alive, your assets may remain tied up in probate court for months after you die.
These keys to family estate planning discussions may help ease the conflicts:
- Choose to have multiple conversations.
- Discuss your plans clearly and early.
- Make your choice about executors and beneficiaries clear.
Gather important information
If anything should happen to you, your power of attorney or executor needs access to your financial information. Make sure information about your bank accounts, creditors and birth certificate remain stored together in an easy-to-reach place.
Estate planning requires you to make difficult decisions and contemplate your future death. But these tough decisions and conversations will ultimately protect both your loved ones and the estate you worked hard to build.