One definition estate planning is the documents required to protect your family, yourself, and your money for your lifetime and beyond.
You can also define estate planning as the process. It is the process you go through to come up with the documents to protect your family, yourself, and your hard-earned money.
One process, the system we use, has 7 steps.
Why use a definition estate planning system? Because a system is a repeatable set of steps that leads to the same outcome – successful estate planning.
The 7 Steps – Brief Definition Estate Planning System
These are the 7 steps we follow. We can help you from the first step. After you decide to take action, you can give us a call. We’ll walk you through the rest of the process. We can coach you on the best decisions for your situation.
Step 1 – Take Action. Act now. Once you decide to do estate planning, keep moving forward.
Step 2 – Decide on your estate plan goals. Different people and families have different goals. Some want to protect and pass money. Others want to protect children from themselves.
Step 3 – Decide who will make decisions for you when you can’t. If your are injured, sick, or develop dementia you and your family will be glad you picked somebody to step in. Without this done, your family will be forced to court.
Step 4 – Take a basic inventory of what you have and what you owe. It doesn’t have to be a detailed inventory.
Step 5 – Decide who gets what, when, how, and how much. Do you want to leave it in one lump sum or spread it out over time? Who gets the house? Should it be sold and the money split?
Step 6 – Decide how you want to avoid probate. Trust? Will? Combination? Other?
Step 7 – Have the documents prepared and sign them.