Long-term financial planning includes the need to have an estate plan. When you are thinking about estate planning, you must remember that almost all adults should have at least a will. Even if you don't have a lot in the way of assets, you can still outline some basic other things in your estate plan. Think about these items as you determine what to do about your estate:
By creating an estate plan, you might be able to save some of your family's private business from being made public. Probate court records are public, so if your estate has to go through the process, anyone can look at what happened. The alternative to this is that you can set up trusts that will enable your estate to be doled out without the probate process. This increases the privacy that your loved ones have.
Another point to consider is that you can set up a plan for your children. The guardianship designation can be relayed in your estate plan so that everyone knows who you want to raise your children. This can be coupled with other provisions, such as a trust, to ensure that the children are cared for if something happens to you and their other parent.
You can also use your estate plan to try to reduce the tax liability that your loved ones will have when you do pass away. Other circumstances, such as business succession or philanthropic giving, can also be covered as part of the estate plan. You should define your goals and then find out how to make the plan meet those goals.