Don’t Be Afraid, Be Proactive. Plan Your Estate Today!
Estate planning is a financial process that can protect you and your family and is a very important component of your overall financial planning. This week of October is National Estate Planning Awareness Week and the perfect time to put your estate planning house in order. If you don’t have an up-to-date estate plan and you happen to get hurt or sick and cannot manage your financial affairs, the courts will have to appoint someone to manage them for you Without an estate plan, when you pass away, your affairs will be settled by default through a complex legal system called “probate.” The handling of your financial affairs can be a costly ordeal for your family and heirs.
The crafting of a good estate plan starts with planning, followed by the proper drafting and signing of appropriate legal documents such as wills, trusts, buy-sell agreements, durable powers of attorney for asset management, and an advanced health-care directive or health-care power of attorney. Having these documents in place saves you and your family a lot of money and time at a very difficult and emotional time.Your estate planning should also address the coordination of the way you hold title to your various assets, your beneficiary selections, and the possible transfer of certain assets while you are alive.
Regardless of the extent of your net worth, estate planning is important for everyone. Complex strategies may be used by wealthy people to reduce death taxes and costs. Others may only require a simple will and/or trust to pass on property to their heirs and provide for minor children. Even if a simple will is all you require, an estate plan is an essential part of your financial planning. Everybody will need it someday. The time to address or update your estate plan is now.
For more information on estate planning, contact our office to set up an initial consultation.