Planning an estate can never be done too early, and it is about much more than just real estate in Delaware or another state. An estate is the categorical, organized method for how a person’s affairs will be handled after they die. How can a person get a jump-start on their estate planning? There are a few easy steps that all adults can take to start their estate planning now.

Cataloging one’s personal belongings is a great way to start estate planning. Tangible and intangible assets can be included, and they should all be assigned a value before moving on to assess the family’s needs. Anyone who is a financial provider for a family should take this into consideration because their death could put the rest of the family at risk. It’s recommended to name a guardian for children under 18 and have a life insurance policy in place.

After that, it’s important to list powers of attorney and assign beneficiaries. Beneficiaries can be anyone in a person’s life, but power of attorney creates a neutral third party. In addition to working with an estate planning attorney, it might be a good idea to hire a tax adviser since state and federal tax laws can negatively impact surviving family members.

Should an individual not thoroughly document their estate planning, surviving loved ones might not get what they were supposed to. There could be arguing over assets. Getting a trust or will written for the estate can help prevent conflict. A trust is sometimes more cost-effective and eliminates the need to involve probate court. A will details how assets are to be divided. A living will can dictate health care preferences, which is sometimes referred to as a health care directive. For example, if an individual ends up on life support, a living will can tell their medical professionals and loved ones how to handle their care.

A person does not have to be retirement age before deciding what will happen to their assets when they pass. Even young adults can benefit from planning their estates now. Getting one of Delaware’s estate attorneys involved in estate planning may help ensure that assets will be distributed accordingly in the event of a person’s death.