Home > Statesville Legal Services Blog > Estate Planning 101: Four Tips for Getting Started

The estate planning process can be intimidating, especially if you have never done it before. If you’re just starting to develop a few crucial estate planning documents, there are four things you need to do before you begin the process.

  1. Estate planningCreate a List of Your Assets and Liabilities. The purpose of the estate planning process is ultimately to determine what happens to your assets and liabilities after your death. Before you come to me at W. Sloan Goforth, Attorney at Law for assistance, devise a current list of your assets and liabilities. This will help me calculate your net worth and determine if you will have a taxable estate.
  1. Determine Who Will Receive Your Assets. After you know which assets you possess, think about who will receive them. This can be your spouse, children, grandchildren, or anyone else you have a connection to.
  1. How Will Your Beneficiaries Receive These Assets? Your beneficiaries can receive assets from you outright or in the form of a trust. How you decide to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries should depend on factors like their ages, health, family situations, and financial situations.
  1. Select an Executor. Choosing the executor of your estate is arguably one of the most important aspects of the estate planning process. To ensure your make the right decision, choose someone you can trust and who you know will act in your best interests. Keep in mind that in addition to this person, you should also have one or two backups lined up in case your chosen executor denies this responsibility.