This is a continuation of the previous article on estate planning and how most people's biggest concern should not be the estate tax, also known as the “death tax.” Most people believe estate plans are for those who have a large amount of wealth and forget the simple things. These are simple documents we all should have, even when we are young and broke. This article discusses the stage after young and broke, which is single and employed.
If you’re a young worker struggling to pay off student loans, you probably don’t think of yourself as having any assets to pass on. But you still might have a 401(k) or life insurance policy at work. Make sure you have completed the beneficiary designation forms for these, since those forms (not a will) control who gets them.
If you die without signing a valid will or living trust, “intestate,” Arkansas law will determine how your other belongings and accounts—those without beneficiary forms—are distributed. In Arkansas the assets of a single, childless adult go to his parents, if they are still alive. If you would prefer your assets go to other people or a charity, then you will need to look into getting an estate plan drawn up.
This is an easy area to miss. If you’re a pet owner, you know how attached your pets can get to you, and vice versa. The question to ask is, “what should happen to them in the event you’re not there anymore?” While those with children may cringe at this suggestion, pets to many people are like children. In the same light parents should appoint a guardian for their children, it is wise for pet owners to appoint a pet guardian or set up a pet trust.