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Financial Planning: An Estate Plan to Secure your Future

Planning for the future is one of the best ways to deal with uncertainty.  Estate planning helps your family when they need it the most.  Take the time to explore the different ways in which an estate can benefit from proper planning, and compare it with the losses should you postpone speaking to a professional.

The most common reason to start an estate plan would be for:

-Wealth preservation for you and your heirs

-Two reasons for not having an estate plan

-Why estate planning is vital

Wealth preservation for you and your heirs

Estate planning will allow you to be remembered the way you want. To leave a legacy to the ones you love that reflects your wishes and gives purpose to what you've accomplished in your life. Without estate planning, that likely will not happen.

Click on the topics below and you’ll discover why estate planning is so crucial for you and your family, even if your assets are modest.

Your Estate Plan

The legacy you leave for your loved ones. It allows you to better manage your family’s financial future, as well as your own.

Your Will

The foundation of your estate plan. It allows you to choose your beneficiaries and ensure that each gets exactly what you want.

Strategies to minimize your estate taxes

When you reduce your taxes to the minimum, you can pass along more.

Benefits of using a trust

You can use trusts to protect your assets and simplify and speed their transfer to your beneficiaries

Two reasons for not having an estate plan

You may be wondering, if estate planning is so important, why doesn’t everyone have an estate plan? The answer is part human nature and part misconception.

Human nature prevents us from talking, even thinking about our own mortality. We don’t like to say to ourselves: “Someday I will die or become incapacitated.” For the sake of our loved ones however, we have to deal with this. And because it can happen anytime, we should deal with it now, regardless of age.

People also wrongly believe that estate planning is only for the super-rich. The word “estate” somehow implies great wealth. But the fact is, an estate can be a house and several thousand dollars or a mansion and several million.

It’s simple. Whatever your age, whatever the size of your estate, a proper estate plan will ensure that it is passed along as you desire, with minimum taxes and with no complications or delays for your heirs.

If you’d like to discuss your estate planning with an expert, click here to find the CPA financial planning professional closest to you.

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Why estate planning is vital

Two men were lifelong friends and similar in many ways. Both were affluent, mid-fifties, healthy, with several children and grandchildren. Life was good.

Then tragedy struck. Returning home from a golf weekend together, their car was involved in a serious auto accident. Neither of them survived.

Both families were devastated. But one was far more devastated than the other.

Because although these two men were so similar in their lifetimes, they left remarkably different legacies for their families in their deaths.

One had an estate plan. Everything from funeral arrangements to the trusts for his grandchildren had been pre-planned. Right down to who got his beloved sailboat. His spouse and family were able to properly mourn his passing with love and the comforting knowledge that he had planned so carefully for their welfare.

His friend had always thought it was bad luck to talk about his death. So not only did he not have an estate plan, he didn’t even have a Will. Perhaps if he had just thought about the consequences for his family, things may have been different.

His grief-stricken spouse was left to arrange for his funeral, burial and all the legal and financial requirements. And all of it with no Will to guide her in making decisions. The stress of dealing with all this added to her emotional strain was nearly more than she could bear.

To make matters worse, the arguing and bickering among family members over the estate delayed a settlement and cost a fortune in legal fees. The end result was a severely depleted estate and bitterness in the family that will probably last for years.

Every year, too many families go through unnecessary nightmares simply because someone didn’t believe in estate planning.

Fortunately, more and more people are realizing that estate planning is an essential part of financial planning and is one of the most important things you will ever do for yourself and your family.

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