One of the things we often take for granted in our lives is planning for the future. When we are gone, our families will need to split our assets and this can cause tension, stress and even fallings out. If you want to avoid your family having to go through and divide your sets when you are gone, you can do it ahead of time yourself. Here are the ways you can get ready for the future and plan your estate.

Sign a will

When we look forward to the future, the first thing we need to think about doing is signing a will. You can create your will and testament at any age and simply update it as you gain more assets through your lifetime. You can download a will online and fill it in with the help of an estate attorney to ensure you do it right. As you split your assets you will want to make sure that everyone you love gets what they deserve from you, and be sure to be accurate when listing your things. If you don’t write a will your assets will automatically land with your blood relatives, and if you want your things to go to your partner you will need to specify this.

Name beneficiaries

Throughout the process of writing your will, you will need to write the names of the people who will gain the assets. If you have more than one child and you want to divide your assets you may need to specify percentages or items for each person. Be sure that you are happy with the names you put on the list because once you are gone, this is the only source of information and data from you. Be sure to update the will if you get divorced or no longer speak to certain family members or friends. This will prevent your assets going into the wrong hands and benefiting someone to don’t like or speak to.

Avoid tax

The estate tax is a tax brought in for those with large assets to give away when they die. The threshold for the tax is currently $5.25 million and this means if you have assets to a lower value than this, tax doesn’t need to be paid. Be sure to talk to your lawyer about this tax and how you can avoid it having to be paid off after you pass away.

Write a letter

A will is not a personal thing to leave behind, and sometimes you will have some sentimental items in mind to leave to members of your family. To take full advantage of this you can write a letter to accompany your will and this will allow you to show your love to your family from beyond and to wish them the happiest life they can possibly have. You can give the letter to your attorney with instructions to pass it over to your family when you are gone. This will act as a legal letter and ensures that your precious items go to your family.

A durable power of attorney

The planning you are able to do or your estate isn’t just from beyond the grave, you can also make arrangements for when you are simply too ill to look after yourself. You can create a durable power of attorney which will appoint a trusted relative or friend to manage your money and your medical care when you are too ill to do it yourself. This means that you are able to control what happens to you in the hospital and make sure that things like your bills and mortgage are still paid off while you are unable.

Healthcare directive

If you want to make sure that you receive the right healthcare when you are too ill to control it, you can create an advanced healthcare directive where you state what you want for treatment in a number of circumstances. It means that you can also opt for palliative care when you are sick and will stop your family from trying to keep you there suffering if you would rather go. You can also decide at this point whether your organs will be donated and your body will be donated to science, buried or cremated.

Planning for life after your own can be difficult but it is something we all need to think about as we grow older. If you can make these decisions now, you can live safe in the knowledge that if something happens to you, your family and your assets will be well looked after.

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