Many Georgia residents feel compelled to plan for the “what ifs” in life. Still, when preparing to support your loved ones financially after you’re gone, many need support to figure out where to begin. It can often seem overwhelming, expensive, and hard to know where to start. 

It can become an increasingly complex undertaking for those earning more than $100,000 a year who’ve worked hard to get where they are financially and want peace of mind knowing their loved ones will be taken care of in their absence. The question is: where do you begin? 

The experts at Smith Barid strive to educate and prepare our community with practical estate planning information. Here are the first steps you can take to begin simplifying and managing the elements of your estate plan.

1. Think about your goals 

Everybody has different goals and priorities when it comes to estate planning. Who are you looking to provide for? It’s critical to consider these when creating an executable estate plan.

Are there any charities or foundations you want to support or to have started in your name? Are there specific people you want to protect or provide for who may not have the agency to make decisions for themselves? This may include children and adults with special needs, medical conditions, or other vulnerabilities.

Knowing what you want your estate to accomplish will motivate you to take the necessary steps to ensure your resources are distributed accordingly. 

2. Consider your resources

Once you know what you want your estate to accomplish, make a list of resources that contribute to your estate. This may include property you own, stocks, bonds, IRAs, bank accounts, and insurance policies that must be left in the right hands and to those you wish to provide for once you are gone. It’s also wise to consider your income and estate tax considerations regarding variable federal and state laws.

3. Pay off debt

Once you’ve taken inventory of all the financial resources at your disposal, inventory your debt as well. Then, make a plan to get it all paid off as quickly as possible. Not leaving any debt or financial obligations for your loved ones to take care of can provide a massive weight off your shoulders and theirs! 

4. Seek advice and make it legal 

With the knowledge of what you want to accomplish with your estate, the next step is to reach out to an estate planning team that can partner with you and implement your plan. You will have so much peace knowing that the causes and people that matter most to you will be well provided for in the event of your death or incapacitation.

If you’re looking for support to set up a valid estate plan that protects your hard-earned assets and the people who stand to benefit from them, contact the law team at Smith Barid today.