WHAT Is The Purpose of Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process by which your estate is preserved during your lifetime and distributed to your loved ones, also known as beneficiaries, upon your passing/death. An Estate Plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for your beneficiaries, while providing you with the most flexibility of using those assets prior to your death.
In layman’s terms, an estate is somebody’s net worth in the eyes of the law and Estate Planning is a way to preserve your assets, such as your bank accounts, home, car, and any other smaller assets that you may have in your name. If you’re a writer, poet, artist or musician, your estate may also include any rights and licenses that you currently have to a song, painting, or even a website domain.
Who Needs to Create an Estate Plan?
You do! By creating an estate plan you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes and that your heirs minimize estate and other “Death Taxes”. Here is a list of documents that we include in most of our estate plans to help you preserve your assets:
- Durable power of attorney
- Letter of intent
- Healthcare power of attorney
- Beneficiary & Guardianship designations
An Estate Plan is the best way to protect you and your family, here are a few benefits:
- Avoid the time and cost of a lengthy Probate process
- Reduce income, gift, inheritance, estate and generation skipping taxes
- Prevent family conflict by addressing current and future concerns of family members
- Determine who inherits what and also when (at what age) they will receive it
- Inform important non-profits of your Planned Giving Plan
- Establish who will be managing your financial and/or legal affairs in the event of a diminished capacity, unexpected accident, or death
We understand that your privacy is important, but having a comprehensive estate plan won’t do you much good if no one can find it when needed. After we complete your Estate Plan we recommend that you make copies of the documents, keep at least one in a secure place and then distribute the rest of your copies to your executor, family, physician and attorney.
If you are ready to meet us and discuss getting started with an Estate Plan or if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us today!