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What is meant by estate planning?
Estate planning is often a neglected part of financial planning. It involves the preparation of tasks that serve to manage an individual's asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death. Not a pleasant conversation so it’s not surprising that a large number of Americans do not have a will, let alone an estate plan.
An estate plan goes much further than a will. Not only does it deal with the distribution of assets and legacy wishes, but it may help you and your heirs pay substantially less in taxes, fees, and court costs. Most estate plans are set up with the help of an attorney experienced in estate law.
What is the purpose of an estate plan?
An estate plan is a collection of documents that protects your assets and personal property (your “estate”) and explains how you want to pass them down. It documents your wishes and specifies exactly who will guard those wishes and act on them in your absence. A number of major life events help shape the need for and scope of an estate plan, among them:
No matter the size of your estate (aka, your “assets”) or size of your family, you need a good plan to protect and appropriately delegate what you have, should you become incapacitated or after you die.
When we plan your estate*, Client 1st Financial accounts for your unique situation and works together with your legal counsel. Whether you have young children, are a business owner in need of a succession plan, or a grandparent who would like to help pay for your grandchildren to go to college, the Client 1st Financial team will work closely with you to assist with your plan.
*We do not provide tax or legal advice.
In addition to having these documents in place it would be a good idea to also have the following in order:
You’ve worked hard to provide for yourself and your family and to secure a stable future. Without advanced estate planning strategies, many of your hard-earned assets may end up with the IRS and state taxing authorities or may be misspent by a beneficiary overwhelmed by the task of managing a large estate.
There are several advanced estate planning strategies that can minimize income and estate taxes and provide asset protection. It goes above and beyond a basic foundation and provides options for minimizing or even eliminating estate taxes. Advanced estate planning can be used to perpetuate family values, fund charitable giving, and protect assets for the benefit of future generations.
Below are a few examples to help ensure that your legacy is properly passed on and protected. At Client 1st Financial, we are skilled at assisting clients to implement smart strategies that meet their goals.
Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.