Estate planning is a financial responsibility too many people neglect because it is often passed off as something done only by the affluent. But estate planning is actually for everyone—and believe it or not, nearly everyone has an estate to plan for.
An estate is comprised of all things that a person owns. This includes your car, home, checking and savings accounts, real estate investments, life insurance, personal possessions, furniture, and other investments. It doesn’t matter how modest or large your estate is—you must plan where it will go should something happen to you.
In essence, estate planning is about controlling how you want your estate to be distributed to the people and/or organizations or entities that you care most about when you pass. Naming who you want to take care of the things and the assets you will leave behind in advance is the best way to plan for the future. This said, good financial estate planning is so much more than just naming people who will receive your estate. With the help of a Certified Financial Planner you can:
- • Include specific instructions for passing your personal principles and values such as education, religion and hard work, in addition to financial valuables
- • Name a guardian for minor children and name an inheritance manager for the same
- • Include instructions for your own care should you become disabled before passing
- • Provide for loved ones of family members who may have special needs
- • Provide for loved ones who may need future protection from divorce or future creditors, or for family members who might not know how to handle money responsibly
- • Take care of business transfer at the time of your disability, retirement, or death
- • Minimize court costs, taxes, and legal fees
- • Include life insurance to replace your income and provide for your family at the time of your death
Estate planning should likewise be an on-going process, instead of a one-time event. Estate plans must be continuously updated and reviewed as your financial, business, and family situations as well as the laws that affect them change throughout your lifetime.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary initial consultation, call Alan Markell at 256-881-9637 or email Alan@Discover-FP.com.