Your choice of attorney and your own clear thinking is a good beginning.

Asking yourself the right questions before you get started in looking toward creating an estate plan is good preliminary work, even before hiring a good estate attorney, according to Market Watch in “Giving your money away when you die: 10 questions to ask.”

Among the questions are:

  • Do you have more than enough money to meet your own needs? This will help you figure out whether you want to start a “gifting” plan to shrink the size of your estate.
  • If you cannot make your own medical decisions at the end of your life, who would you like to make them? This will help you make sure you get an appropriate person named on a health care power of attorney.
  • Will the federal estate tax be an issue for your estate? If you are not a multi-millionaire, you will not need to worry about the tax.
  • Does your state have its own estate or inheritance tax? While most states have abolished their estate taxes, a few still have them. Therefore, it is important to know whether your estate could be affected by your state’s taxes.
  • Have you investigated any charities that you want to support? If you plan to leave some money in your estate plan to charity, it is important to make sure the charities you choose are reputable.
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