Plan for tomorrow, today.
That seems like sensible advice, doesn't it? Yet, a surprising number of people leave no estate plan in place for their loved ones. These conversations can be tough to navigate on your own with your family. Most people try to avoid the topic altogether, leaving room for wealth to be distributed against their wishes. But this is exactly why you should try to create and maintain an estate plan: you simply will not be there to settle matters when the time comes. By taking initiative now and planning for estate matters, including estate taxes, you will leave loved ones with what you had envisioned.
Everyone has an estate.
Someday, it will be someone's job to account for the things you leave behind when you die. This goes for homeowners and renters, those who are retired and those who are working full-time, and everyone from every walk of life.
Everyone needs an estate plan.
Without planning, you take the risk of your estate being decided by the courts. If you do not have an estate plan, your family could face major legal issues and potentially bitter disputes. Your estate plan may include wills and trusts, life insurance, disability insurance, guidance on the care for children and other dependents, powers of attorney, a living will, medical directives, anatomical donation directives, a pre-or post-nuptial agreement, extended care insurance, charitable gifts, debts, passwords, digital assets, and more.
Taking steps now to help protect your estate is a key financial choice. With proper strategies, you may be able to maximize your opportunities and help manage stress and confusion for your loved ones, especially during incredibly stressful and grievous times.
Why not just a will?
While your will may state who your beneficiaries are, they may still have to seek a court order to have assets transferred from your name to theirs. Estate planning can include items like properly prepared and funded trusts, which could help your heirs to avoid probate. Probate can be an expensive process and lock up assets during the time they may be needed most.
Beneficiary designations on qualified retirement plans and life insurance policies usually override bequests made in wills or trusts. Many people never review the beneficiary designations on their retirement plan accounts and insurance policies, and the estate planning consequences of this inattention can be serious. Having an estate plan means keeping it updated, as time passes or as changes occur in your family.
Where do you begin?
Leaving an inheritance for surviving loved ones is important. But, to avoid costly mistakes, managing your legacy requires detailed planning from our team of financial professionals. We work alongside your estate attorney or lawyer to create a comprehensive plan that reflects your final wishes and establishes your legacy in a meaningful way. I understand these are tough conversations to have, but being prepared now is a smart move. At Paxel Financial, we speak finance in your language and want to assist you in caring for your loved ones for many years to come!
These conversations can be tough to navigate on your own with your family. Most people try to avoid the topic altogether, leaving room for wealth to be distributed against their wishes.