No one really wants to consider their own mortality, or mull over the fact that it is 100% certain that one day they won’t be around for their loved ones. While this is completely understandable, it is also a problem that often results in many people failing to plan for their inevitable demise.
The fact of the matter is that if you don’t address what happens to your belongings when you are alive then your loved ones are going to have to go through the process themselves and this can cause stress, tension and elongated grief for those involved. Thus, it is imperative that you get your affairs in order before anything goes wrong.
These are the five simple steps to take to ensure that you are on top of your inheritance planning:
List your assets and those you wish to leave your inheritance to
The first thing that you need to do is make a list of your assets that you want to leave behind. These include:
- Retirement savings
- Insurance policies
- Personal belongings of worth or sentiment
Once you have listed your assets and you know what they are worth, you then need to decide who you would like to inherit what as well as other questions that need answering in the case of your death.
- Who do you want to inherit your assets?
- Who would you appoint as your children’s guardian?
- Who will be in charge of the will, finances and any medical decisions that may need to be made?
Making these points clear makes it easier for those left behind and it is the best way to avoid any conflict or confusion amongst your loved ones.
Create your will
If your assets and your wishes are simple to sort out then you can easily draft your will using handy online tools like Legal Zoom, and it should only take you a short time to come up with something solid.
However, if your case is a little more complicated with regards to assets or finance, or even with those inheriting from you, then you should definitely look into hiring an attorney to help you sort out the finer details. Although it may be a bit more expensive, it really is worth the cash to ensure that all your documents are in order and that there are no complications or mistakes that are only noticed once you are gone.
Appoint an executor and power of attorney
Having a will gives you the opportunity to appoint both an executor of the will and give someone the power of attorney. An executor can be a friend, family member or a professional like an accountant or a lawyer. They are in charge of executing the details of your will when you have passed away – things like property distribution, tax returns and credit claims are also handled by the executor of you will.
No one is able to safely say that they will never be medically incapable of making decisions – unfortunately our minds and bodies simply don’t deal with things very well as we get old. A power of attorney is someone that you have given permission to sign important documents and make financial decisions for you in case you are unable to do so yourself.
Although they perform different roles, the most important thing when appointing an executor and power of attorney is that you choose people that you completely trust to make the correct decisions and who will have your best interests at heart.
Speak to your beneficiaries
Once you have decided what you are going to leave behind for your loved ones to inherit, you should have a chat to them and make them aware of the decisions that you’ve made. This is the best way to make sure there is no confusion when you are gone, and gives you the opportunity to explain why you have left what you have to them and what you would like for them to do with it.
Great inheritance planning involves being open and honest with your beneficiaries. This way you can make sure that there are no surprises, and it could help avoid any unnecessary conflict between the loved ones you’ve left behind.
Rework your will every year
Inheritance planning is a work in progress, and you should review your will about once a year and rework it after any major changes in your life such as births, marriages or deaths of loved ones. Reworking your will allows you to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in your life and ensures that you leave behind everything in the order that you want it to be in.
If you are busy doing your inheritance planning, it could make financial sense to invest in a foreign property. Not only will you have a great holiday home and investment when you are alive – it allows you to leave your loved ones a special home for them to all remember you by. If you are interested in buying foreign property, contact us for a look at our portfolio of property for sale in Calpe and invest in property in a beautiful town on Spain’s Mediterranean coastline.
Image Credit: Funding Sage