Tips for Estate Planning Successfully

By Michael E. Fiffik, Esquire



Seventy-four percent of American adults believe that estate planning is a confusing topic. I totally get that. There are lots of questions to answer:


Who gets what?

Who manages your estate when you die?

How do you choose roles for your children in your estate plan?

Who will take care of your young children if you pass away? (Or if your kids are like mine, who would be crazy enough to take them!)


There are so many myths about estate planning that prevent people from ever starting. I’m here to tell you that you can do it. All you need to do is get started. We’ll help you along the way and when you’re done, you’ll say to yourself “that wasn’t so bad.”


Every estate plan should take into account four considerations:

  1. What should happen to your assets when you pass away

  2. How you will give your family a sense of financial security

  3. How you can avoid the sometimes lengthy and expensive probate process

  4. How you can minimize inheritance taxes

Here are some estate planning best practices — as well as some common mistakes to avoid:

  • The most important document for giving your family financial security while you’re alive is a durable general power of attorney. If you are disabled, you can name someone to make financial decisions for you and make sure your family has access to your finances for support.

  • Consider whom you want in charge of your estate. That role is called an executor, who can distribute your estate according to your will.

  • Durable power of attorney who makes decisions on your behalf.

  • If you have young children, consider who you might name to care for your children and manage the inheritance you leave form them until they are old enough to control the money themselves. We suggest different people care for the kids and manage their money.

  • Also look into a healthcare power of attorney, which provides instructions on the types of medical care you want to receive if you can no longer communicate your wishes.

  • Modify your estate planning documents regularly and especially as you undergo major life changes (births, adoptions, deaths, marriages, divorces, property acquisitions, etc.)

  • Your Will does not control certain accounts that are titled jointly or are controlled by a beneficiary form. Avoid making beneficiary form boo-boos.

  • Don't forget about designating who should take care of your pets.

The biggest mistake to avoid is doing nothing. You work hard for your savings. You love your family. Both of those merit taking the time to get your Will done. The experienced estate planning attorneys at Fiffik Law Group will make it easy, we promise. Get started today.

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