Nobody likes to think of death, but it will happen to everyone at some point. It’s much better to sort out your financial affairs now, knowing your loved ones are taken care of and your wishes are being respected. A comprehensive estate plan is an important part of financial planning. We can help you incorporate your estate plan into your overall financial plan to give you that peace of mind.
A financial estate plan spells out what happens to your assets. It can include a will or a trust, beneficiary forms, a letter of intent, a durable power of attorney, and advanced healthcare directive (living will). You want to include detailed information about what happens to all of your assets, including retirement accounts, investment accounts, bank accounts, real estate, cars, collectibles, and any other personal property you own.
With a financial estate plan in place, your heirs don’t have to wait as long to receive their inheritance. Nobody has to fight over what will be theirs, because you’ve already made it clear in your estate plan. If your assets include retirement accounts or investment accounts, an estate plan can help you figure out how to pass these assets to your heirs without creating an unintended tax burden for them.
You will need a board-certified attorney who specializes in estate planning and possibly tax law to help you understand how the law works and make sure you don’t forget anything. For example, even if you designate someone as a beneficiary in your will, they still may not get the assets in your retirement accounts if they’re not named as a beneficiary. As Financial Advisors, we help our clients gather the information and documentation they need to prepare to put a comprehensive estate plan together, and help them ensure that they are considering all of their relevant assets and resources. In many cases, financial advisors can help you plan to both minimize estate taxes after death, as well as income taxes during your life, and to draw down your retirement assets in a way that is in keeping with your estate plan.