Estate Planning: Getting Started and Staying Organized

Often the hardest part of doing a will is getting started. Before speaking with any legal professional, collecting the information to begin the discussion is the first step. SMAA is offering a free organizer to help you and your family tackle the important process of creating an estate plan. Some people think that because they aren’t wealthy, they don’t need a will. Everyone needs to make an estate plan.

With this organizer, you’ll be able to collect the pieces you need to start the process of making your final plans.  And it’ll be a helpful tool for your family or designated representative to turn to at a difficult time. Taking the step of planning is a gift to your family and to you ensuring that your wishes are fulfilled.

Having a will speeds up the probate process. Dying without a will (also called intestate) means the court will decide how to divide your estate without your input. The court process is extremely slow and laborious.  Having a will can help ensure you minimize estate taxes. And having a will allows you to direct your property to the people and charities you want to support after you’re gone.

Some worry about locking in such big decisions but wills can be changed and updated during your life as your circumstances change. The end of tax season is the perfect time to get started as many of us have just reviewed our financial situation. Much of the information you’ll need to complete this organizer is already at hand! If you haven’t made a will, get started today!

If you’d like to receive a free copy of this guide, please call Janet Bowne, 207-396-6533 or email jbowne@smaaa.org.