One of the reasons why people can tend to drag their feet when it comes to taking action with regard to their estate plan is because they really don’t know where to begin. This is understandable, but as they say a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step, so we would like to simplify matters with what we will call the “Three Is” of estate planning.
When you are making preparations to pass along your assets to your loved ones the first thing you’re going to have to do is identify exactly what you have. This involves taking stock of the form of these assets, because the best way to transfer them is going to vary depending on a number of factors. In addition to inventorying your assets another relevant task would be to make a list of who will be receiving inheritances. At this point you may want to ask yourself if you want to make provisions that restrict one or more of your heirs from having full access to their bequests immediately for one reason or another.
You will invariably have questions about how you can make your legacy visions a reality. This is where your estate planning attorney comes in. Once you know what you have and what you want to do with it, you then need to tap into the expertise of an experienced estate planning attorney who will do what it takes from a legal perspective to make sure that your wishes are carried out.
When you have a plan in place that has been intelligently conceived and executed with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney your work is not through. As your life changes and as circumstances that affect society as a whole change you are going to have to react by making changes to your estate plan. This is one of the reasons why it is always best to develop an ongoing relationship with an estate planning lawyer so that he or she will become familiar with your situation and ready to advise you when adjustments become necessary.