With everyone’s mortality front and center, now has become the optimum time to get one’s affairs in order. Whether young or old, healthy or ill, married or single, having an estate plan provides comfort, peace of mind and gives assurance that your assets will pass on to those of your choosing and those you named will have the authority to make financial and health decisions on your behalf if needed. The benefits of an estate plan are insurmountable; however, setting aside the time to adequately prepare and understand one’s estate plan can be challenging.
Understanding your estate plan
Although an estate plan is designed and catered to your needs and wishes, this does not mean you will fully grasp the contents of your estate plan. This can contain many documents with dense language. How can one review their plan when it is challenging for them to keep track of its contents? The answer may be simpler than one expects. By creating spreadsheets and color-coded charts, it can make reviewing an estate plan a much more meek process.
Charts and color-coding help with updating an estate plan
Flow charts can help signal changes that may be necessary when funds reach a certain amount. These flow charts could include scenarios for if one spouse dies before the other, when money should flow to a trust, how much a surviving spouse will get and, if necessary, how much each heir will get. These flow charts can get more detailed the more extensive one’s estate is. However, even if one does not have many assets or heirs, they could create a flow chart to help signal when it may be time to update their estate plan.
Having these charts can help provide a summary and a visual. It can be challenging and sometimes an emotional process to draft an estate plan; therefore, those same issues and emotions are likely present when one seeks to update an estate plan.
It can be difficult to understand the ins and outs of an estate plan. This is why it is important to obtain guidance and assistance when necessary. Whether you seek to draft a plan or update one, it is important that you fully grasp what is included in your estate plan and when changes might be necessary.