An estate plan is a critical part of any ongoing financial planning process, regardless of your wealth. It is also about much more than just money. An estate plan will help carry out your long-term plan for your family and provide detailed instructions on how to handle assets that need to be split among multiple family members. It will also protect any desire you might have to support specific philanthropic endeavors.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the distribution of an estate during your life. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. Wills and estate planning allows you to set up family trusts and to specify who will serve as the executor of your estate. Detailed wills and estate plans also help you appoint caregivers for your minor children and will provide detailed instructions for shaping their financial future.
Estate Planning Checklist
Designing a plan consistent with your goals and values is a personal, often complex process. After giving thought to your wishes and long-term needs of your family, seek professional guidance from an experienced estate-planning attorney, tax professional, and financial advisor. To help you estimate the value of your estate, you’ll need to take into consideration:
- Current income and likely future income
- Life insurance
- Annual expenses
- Current assets and debts
- Tax implications of federal transfer taxes, state death taxes, and federal income taxes
Once the plan is in place, make sure to revisit it regularly. It’s important to review your will and other estate planning documents annually, or anytime significant life events occur.
Our financial advisors at Empirical Wealth have the expertise you need to prepare and protect your family. Give us a call today for a free consultation.