Estate Planning: The Right Way To Leave Your Legacy Behind

Posted on: 21 May 2015

Leaving your loved ones behind is the most difficult part of death, but when you fail to plan properly, your death can become an even bigger burden on those you leave behind. Understanding proper estate planning procedures is essential when it comes to easing the burden of your passing.

Here are two things you can do to ensure that you leave behind the kind of legacy you want to be remembered for, not the kind that places financial burdens on your family.

1. Prepare a will.

While you might think that your loved ones know how you want your belongings divided up after you pass, having your wishes in writing can eliminate a lot of arguments. A document commonly referred to as a will serves as a legally binding agreement between you and your heirs.

If you want to be sure that your will has the legal standing it needs to be upheld in court, be sure that you follow the statutory requirements necessary to make the will valid. This means that you must clearly state that you intend the document to serve as your will, you must draft the will while you still have the mental capacity to do so, you cannot prepare the will under duress, and you must file the will with an attorney.

2. Take out a life insurance policy.

Accidental deaths can be especially hard on the surviving family members, since they have no time to emotionally or financially prepare for the passing of a loved one. To ensure that your own family doesn't face financial hardship in the event of your death, take out a life insurance policy.

To determine how much life insurance you need, you can take one of two approaches. The income replacement approach requires you to calculate the amount of income that you would lose in the event of your untimely death.

A needs-based approach requires the evaluation of your financial situation, including your debt, the number of dependents you have, and your spouse's ability to acquire a job if necessary. These approaches help you determine how much life insurance will adequately provide for the needs of your family after you pass.

No one likes to think about their own mortality, but the fact of the matter is no one can escape death. Rather than avoiding this unsavory topic, take the time to properly plan your estate. Thorough and comprehensive estate planning will help you leave a legacy of love behind. For assistance, work with a firm such as Linn Schisel & DeMarco Attorneys At Law