What Is Estate Planning, And When Do You Start?

What is Estate Planning?

As you go through life, you acquire things: a house, car, savings, retirement and maybe some investments. These combine to create your estate. You need to consider what will happen to your estate if you can no longer manage it or you pass away.

Will these assets go to your children? If so, who will get what and how will it be managed? This is estate planning in a nutshell.

Estate planning is the legal process of anticipating and arranging what will happen with your estate. Doing so can also eliminate uncertainties about what you wanted, and reduce taxes and other expenses.

Estate planning involves things like putting together a will, trusts, designating beneficiaries, power of attorney and what happens to property. Guardians are often designated for minor children if something should happen while your children are young. This is also a great time to make final arrangements, such as whether to be buried or cremated, for example. Estate Planning can also involve pertinent business issues, if you own one.

While estate planning asks you to consider issues you would prefer not to think about, it is extremely valuable to have matters sorted out if something should happen. If you don't have one, state laws will supersede the issues, which means they could be resolved in ways not in line with your personal preferences.

When Should I Begin Estate Planning?

Estate planning is best done when you have time to consider all the options and what is best for you. Your estate plans can be revisited and revised at any time as your situation changes. While it is never too late, the sooner and younger in your life you complete your estate plans the better.

How do I get Started with Estate Planning?

BMI Federal Credit Union offers a free workshop on Estate Planning 101. It repeats at various times throughout the year, so check back to see when it is being offered or call us at 614.707.4000 to inquire. This workshop will cover all the things you will need to know to get started and talk through all the things you need to consider and decisions that need to be made. There will be plenty of time for questions.