Estate planning can seem like a pretty serious topic to discuss – it’s often difficult to talk to your closest loved ones about what will happen in the event of your death. However, that difficult conversation is worth having. Let our trained staff walk you through all of the necessary steps, and crunch the numbers to create a solid plan for you.
What is estate planning?
Planning for the future of your estate ensures that there is a plan for your assets. This planning takes a lot of burden away from your loved ones. Estate planning is highly personal and unique to each individual, which is why we recommend sitting down with one of our trained staff to discuss all that is involved. It all centers around your Power of Attorney and your Last Will and Testament. Among the many purposes and functions the Will serves, the document names an Executor of your estate, identifies your beneficiaries & records their share of the estate. We can provide advice on various techniques to reduce the taxation amounts on your assets.
Do I have an estate?
Yes of course! Your estate is essentially your net worth – which is the sum of your assets less your liabilities (or debts). Often your estate is fluctuating as you gain assets, take on some debt like a mortgage, and/or your income changes. Your assets (which is what you own) are likely to include savings, investments, trusts, personal real estate, and other high value goods like vehicles. Your liabilities include credit card debt, mortgage, student loans, and any other indebtedness. Other things like life insurance (specifically death benefits) are contingent assets that do not exist yet, but will in the future.
When should I start planning?
You can start estate planning anytime – sometimes a major life event such as getting married, buying a house, or having kids will prompt the process. You need to create a Last Will and Testament by the age of 25 at the latest. The earlier in your life you start planning, the longer you have to decide what you would like to achieve with all of your assets. Estate planning is an evolving process as things and people come and go from your life. The sooner you discuss your wishes with your family, the less chance there will be for disagreements after you are deceased.