free estate planning advice to get your started in the right direction. Talking about estate planning can be difficult and many are afraid to ask for advice. Today, we have free advice to anyone thinking about their estate planning. It is never too early or too late to get advice on estate planning and probate. The more planning you can do the easier it will be on you and your family. Watch our top 3 free advice on estate planning.
I'm gonna give you the top three things that you should do before you talk to your estate planning attorney, or even decide on getting an estate plan. It's a quick video, so let's jump right in.
The first thing that you need to do, And I think it's pretty obvious, is educate yourself, right. So read up on the topic of estate planning, read up on probate, and what happens, and the process is, where in the state, or the city, or the county where you're living in, because honestly guys, it's different everywhere but the general principles are the same, usually, no matter where you are. In order to educate yourself, read up on books. And I've put links in the description below to some great books that I have enjoyed reading, that I think are great primers on estate planning and probate.
The next thing you need to do is, well, watch videos on estate planning, and probate, and the process for both of 'em. It'll help you so much by reading books and watching videos, so that when you do decide to move forward, and you do go and meet with your estate planning attorney, you'll have a much better frame of mind, and a reference to pull from when they start asking you questions that you may not even have thought of before. So it's a good idea to educate yourself, no matter what you do, and it's no different for estate planning. So first thing, educate yourself.
The second thing you need to do is, well, talk to your family. Talk to your husband, your wife, your life partner, whoever you're spending your life with, and have a very candid discussion with them. If your spouse has already passed away, or you're single like I am, then talk to your kids, talk to your other family members, and let them know really what you want, and what you're thinking, and get their advice.
I know it sounds silly. I know a lot of us don't like to talk about the topic of estate planning, or probate, but it is so much better. Believe me guys, in almost 20 plus years of doing this, it is so much better when families talk to each other, and they all have an idea of what the other person wants.
It just makes things so much easier, because if you don't talk to your family, then you end up in fights. Brothers and sisters end up fighting with each other, uncles and aunts, or even parents fighting with their children, on what is best for mom or dad, if they're still alive, and there has to be a guardianship? Or if they've already passed away, what did they really want to happen?
If you can make all these decisions ahead of time, and have a very candid discussion with your family, and let them know what you're thinking, and get their advice. If you want it, if you don't want their advice, you can just tell them, this is what I want. And that's okay too.
But the bottom line is you need to talk to your family, and your friends, and whoever's involved, and let them know what you're thinking. Very important, that's a huge step.
The third thing you should do is make a checklist. And the easiest way to do this, is just make a list of of your assets. Make a list of all of your debts, make a list of your social media accounts. You don't know how important that is, especially nowadays.
Do you really want your Facebook, or Instagram, or your TikTok account to continue after you've passed? Do you want it to be active if you're incapacitated in the hospital.
You've gotta think about those kinda things, and you need to designate people who are going to be able to take charge of those accounts if something were to happen to you. I can't tell you how refreshing it is, and helpful, when clients come into our office, and they've already done their checklist.
Because A, it gives us a better reference, and really a frame of mind of what our clients are thinking, and what they're needing out of their estate plan. Or if it's a probate, if somebody comes into our office and their loved one had made a list of all of their assets, and all of their debts, and all of their personal items, and you know where everything goes, because they had a last will, or they had a revocable living trust. You don't know how helpful it is.
The less work that we have to do as attorneys, means the less money that you have to pay us, right. The more you can do ahead of time to help out your attorneys and your family, you're gonna go a long way. So, where do you get one of these checklists?
Well, you can find 'em in some of those books that I mentioned, that I have the descriptions below. And if you want a free one, then you can use the estate planning questionnaire that I have provided in the description below, and in the comment section as well, and it is the exact same one, that I use every single day with our clients. And it's a great starter checklist of all the information that I would need to create an estate plan for you.
Do these three things, educate yourself, talk to your family, and create a checklist. And you'll be on your way to creating a fantastic estate plan.
And a bonus, just because you've made it all the way through the end of this video. First, you don't know how much I appreciate it, and second, this is one of the most important steps of them all. After you've done the first three, you've talked to your estate planning attorney, and you've created an estate plan. The most important thing to do is on an annual basis reevaluate your estate plan.
That is so important.
You don't want to create an estate plan, and then do nothing for the next 20 or 30 years, when so many things in your life can change, And so many circumstances. People that are in the estate plan may have passed away, or they have moved on, and are no longer even in your life.
Reevaluate your estate plan every year.
I know I've thrown a lot at you today, so that's why we've prepared our free guide on estate planning. I'll put a link to it in the description below, and in the comment section, below that, so that you can download it and get started in the right direction. And, to help you out even more, watch this video up here, and this video up here. If you enjoyed this video, then guys please smash that subscribe button, and click on the like button, and also click on that little bell, so you'll get notified every time we post a new video. Have a great day and an awesome week. And as always, thanks for watching.