Have some assets and a family? Then you need estate planning.
This article will give you a primer on what estate planning is and what you need to know about this all too important financial tool.
So what is estate planning?
A simple and quick definition of estate planning is:
It is the process of preparing a plan of allocation, disposition and administration of one’s property before or after death to ensure the property is effectively and efficiently distributed to the intended beneficiaries.
While estate planning may seem morbid, it is absolutely essential for protecting the future of your family, not just in the inevitable event of your death, but during your life as well. Life can change in an instant, be prepared.
Not convinced that estate planning is necessary?
Consider these three reasons why you should have an estate plan:
To Avoid Probate
Without a trust and an estate plan, your state of residence would decide how your assets are divided, and neither your lawyer (if you have one) nor your family would have any say in how and where those assets end up. You never know, but your state may even pass them on to a non-family member, leaving your heirs deprived of their right (or rightful share).
To Reduce Future Tax Burdens on Your Heirs
Estate transfers, above a certain value, are subjected to taxes, which means your family could be forced to take a big hit during the inheritance process. Surely, you would want to protect your loved ones from the burden of taxes and ensure they get the maximum amount of your wealth? An estate plan will help you with that by implementing strategies designed around minimizing the taxes owed by you to your state and federal government.
To Avoid Family Conflicts
We’ve all heard those horror stories: A wealthy person dies and the family members start fighting each other over who gets what and how much. You held your family together while you were alive, and you would not want them to break apart after your death, especially over financial matters. An estate plan will allow you to set things straight about who gets what, how much they get and when they get it, helping to quell any family strife.
Do you need help with estate planning?
Canberra Company is at your service. Our estate planning professionals know what to do and how to guide you through the process.
We are a leading estate planning firm headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA. We help our clients plan for the future. Our services are contoured to your particular needs and situation. Speak to our representative today to discuss your estate planning needs.