Estate planning is not just for the rich and famous. Everyone should have an estate plan, regardless of the size of their estate.
Not only does an estate plan help carry out your wishes after your passing; it benefits you while you’re living. Done correctly, estate planning can give you more control over your assets, provide care if you become disabled, and allow for the transfer of wealth when and to whom you want, at the lowest possible cost. It can prove invaluable in easing the administrative burden for your family and friends during a time of emotional distress. Without a formal estate plan, your survivors may not be able to access your assets until a personal administrator or guardian is appointed and the distribution plan is approved by the probate court, a process which can take more than a year in some states.
An estate plan benefits you, your family, and friends and can help you to:
- Quickly settle issues related to your estate, therefore minimizing expenses
- Provide financial support for your friends or family members, such as a relative with special needs
- Avoid possible disruption of your business during the time of transition
- Direct money to your favorite charity or religious organization
- Reduce taxes owed after your death
Estate planning is an extremely important part of your overall financial plan, and does not have to be complicated or expensive. As your financial advisors we work with you and your attorney to ensure that your estate and your heirs are protected. If you do not have an attorney we can help you find one!
This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Investors should consult with a tax or legal professional regarding their individual situation.