Estate planning is a topic many people prefer to avoid, but the result is that when it comes time to create your estate plan, you may not know where to start. There are a number of questions that a person in Alabama might ask themselves as part of the process.
Questions about your belongings
Estate planning should start with making a list of everything that you own. This list should be exhaustive, containing more than just the obvious things, such as your vehicle, your home, your bank account and any investments. Do you have digital assets, such as photos, social media accounts, a website or similar things that are online or stored on your computer? Are there sentimental items that some of your family members might want? Do you need to make arrangements for pet care?
Questions about your loved ones
Next, you need to ask yourself some questions about your loved ones. First, do you have children who are minors? This is important because you can name guardians for them in your will, saving your family a potentially long and costly legal process. Are you part of a blended family, with children from previous marriages? If this is the case, it is important to make sure that you structure your estate plan in a way that does not inadvertently leave out those children or your current spouse. Do you have loved ones who are likely to be irresponsible with money or who receive government assistance because of a disability? A trust may be appropriate in these circumstances.
There are a number of other considerations in creating an estate plan, including naming people to manage your health care and financial matters if you are incapacitated. Talking to your loved ones about your plans can help ensure that in addition to your documents, they understand your intentions.