You have worked too hard to have your entire legacy destroyed due to lack of a plan. Without a proper estate plan, your family could end up paying a lot of taxes and fighting over your assets. Estate planning can be overwhelming, but it is an essential step in preserving your financial future and the future of those you love. A proper estate plan will protect your wealth and guide your family in preserving your legacy.
What is estate planning?
- Estate planning is a process to help you decide how your assets will be distributed.
- Estate planning needs to co-ordinate financial, legal, and tax considerations.
- An estate plan can provide guidance on what documents are needed for a plan that suits your wishes.
- Estate planners work with you to create an estate plan that reflects your goals, values, and how you want to be remembered.
- Estate planning is important because it could help to avoid conflict among family members about who gets what when the person dies.
- Estate plans should be reviewed every few years as life changes may require adjustments in the plan to reflect your wishes.
Important discussions to have with your family when starting your estate plan.
- Discuss the things that you value in life and how you each wish to be remembered. For example: “What do you remember most about me? What do others remember me for? What am I passionate about, what are my values? How do I want to be remembered after my death?”
- Craft an outline of what you ideally wish to happen with your wealth when you pass.
- Work with a financial advisor qualified to help you build your estate plan. This involves reviewing your entire financial situation, wills (if you have them), insurance policies, beneficiary designations, employee benefits plans, etc.
- Decide who you will trust with carrying out your wishes. This is the role of your executor. Sometimes, there may be no one that is suitable and you may decide to work with a trust company or lawyer to act on your behalf.
- Put in place Powers of Attorney that will appoint people you trust to make decisions for you in event that you are incapacitated.
- Consider Advance Directives or Representation Agreements to appoint people you trust to make medical decisions if you are unable to.
Estate planning is essential in preserving your financial future and the future of those you love. Estate planners work with you to create a plan that reflects your wishes, values, and how you want to be remembered. A proper estate plan will protect your wealth and guide the people you love to preserve what matters most to you. If this feels overwhelming, we’ve created a checklist of questions that can help get started with creating an effective estate plan – click below to get started.