There’s nothing quite like the new year to make you think of fresh possibilities and new beginnings.
There’s also nothing quite like way too much turkey, wine, and football over the holidays to make you realize that you should maybe consider some lifestyle changes.
You have probably already started on your list of new year’s resolutions for 2019: read more, get a gym membership (and actually use it this time), spend more time with family, etc. And those are great resolutions. “New year, new me” and all that jazz.
But there is one more goal you should add to your list: organize your estate plan.
While most resolutions are about helping your self, an estate plan is about helping your loved ones. To make it easier for you to set your affairs in order, we created this handy list of 11 Estate Planning Resolutions for 2019:
1. Execute a Trust and/or a Will
You, like a majority of Americans, may not have a living trust or a last will and testament. You may not even know what those documents are. Which one is better? Which one is right for you? What are the differences between a will and a trust?
Both a trust and a will control what happens to your estate — your property, your “stuff” — after your death. However, there is one huge difference between the two: a trust avoids probate, while a will does not.
Yes, even if you have a will, your estate must still go through probate after your death.
Remember that there are two main sides to estate planning: (1) What happens to your “stuff” when you die and (2) who takes care of your self when you become incapacitated. You can solve the first part of that equation in 2019 by creating a trust or a will.