Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, savings, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common—you can’t take it with you when you die.
When you do pass away you want to have control over how those things are given to the people or organizations you care most about. To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to provide instructions stating whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it. You will also want this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.
That is estate planning—making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die. However, good estate planning is much more than that. It should also:
- Include instructions for passing on your valuables.
- Include instructions for your care, both financially and medically if you become disabled before you die.
- Name a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children
- Provide for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits
- Provide for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce
- Provide for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death
- Minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees
- Be an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situations (and laws) change over your lifetime.
It is important to establish the correct estate planning structures to protect you, your assets and your family against the unforseen. Our estate planning specialists are able to project manage the creation and implementation of your estate planning documents through specialist lawyers who are able to provide you with recommendations based on your personal circumstances.
If you have any questions please contact us.