Have you ever thought about what things you would quickly gather if there were a fire or earthquake? If so, then you’ve already identified many of the important things required in making an estate plan.

There are few things in life we can do so easily that make such a big difference as creating an estate plan. Those who complete a plan are almost always amazed at how quickly and easily it can be accomplished.

An estate plan is nothing more and nothing less than a listing of what you own (or expect to own) and what you want done with those items. It is arranging for the things you own to ensure that they go to the people or organizations you want to have them.

The most complicated part of preparing a will is taking the first step: deciding to do it. After you’ve made that decision, look to the Texas A&M Foundation for help. You can request a free Gift & Estate Planning Guide that’ll walk you through the process in a simple and easy-to-understand format.
 

As you plan your estate, you’ll want to think about the people, things and priorities in your life. Consider questions such as:

1. What personal items are especially valuable to you?

2. Where do you want to keep your will?

3. Who are the people important to you?

4. Who already depends on you? Will they still depend on you after your lifetime?

5. Where will you leave account numbers, passwords and internet addresses so a trusted friend or relative can find them?

6. Who do you want to be the primary handler of your estate?

7. What assets and accounts do you own? You may own more than you think when you consider real estate, your home, and investment or retirement accounts.

8. What charities and causes are important to you? You can designate all or a portion of your estate to The Texas A&M Foundation to support Texas A&M students, faculty, colleges or programs.

9. What decisions will govern your healthcare providers and end-of-life care provisions?

10. Who do you want to make decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself (also known as Power of Attorney/Health Care Power)?
 

The Benefits of Having a Will

There are few things in life we can do so easily that make such a big difference as creating an estate plan. Those who complete a plan are almost always amazed at how quickly and easily it can be accomplished. The benefits of creating an estate plan include the following:

  • You determine your wishes and not a judge who doesn’t know you.
  • You can avoid estate taxes by making sure your priorities are met.
  • You can care for your family and favorite causes beyond your lifetime.
  • You have peace of mind knowing your life’s work does not end with an unforeseen event.

Writing your plan is easy, especially when compared to the cost and trouble of trying to determine your wishes after your lifetime. Using the free Gift & Estate Planning Guide and then discussing your wishes with your attorney can tremendously simplify the estate planning process. Plus, the security of having an estate plan will give you and your loved ones peace of mind now and later.

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