Accomplished financial professional Sue Ann Ma, MBA, CPA, CEP, is the sole owner of a CPA firm in ShiMao Plaza China Town in Houston. Possessing more than two decades of experience in banking, accounting, and financial services, Sue Ann Ma helps her clients with everything from tax preparation to estate planning.
Preparing a will is one of the primary elements of planning your estate. Wills can be created either through a lawyer, online software, or independently. Regardless of the method you choose, you should start by drafting a list of your assets, including everything from bank accounts and real estate you own to sentimental heirlooms and furniture. Once you know what you have, you can start deciding on your beneficiaries. These are the individuals who will receive your assets. For many people this process is fairly quick, but complicated family structures can make it more confusing.
You must also decide who will be the executor of your will. The executor ensures your wishes are properly carried out. They handle such tasks as settling your debts, dealing with mortgages and paying taxes. Ideally, our executor should be someone who is responsible and trustworthy. You can name a child as the executor, but if they do not get along with their siblings there may be problems. Further, lawyers and banks can be executors; however they often include a fee. If your children are still under the age of 18, you can include information about who their guardian will be.