You have spent a lifetime of building a career, raising a family, giving back to your community, and possibly even growing a business. Now it’s time to decide how best to protect your legacy, and how to distribute it to your loved ones and favorite charities.
Discussions about estate planning, end of life, and asset distribution can sometimes be difficult conversations. Thinking and talking about your own death isn’t usually a pleasant experience. However, estate planning is a critical process, especially if you have accumulated a substantial amount of assets.
Without a clear estate plan, your heirs and the local probate court will be left without clear instruction as to your wishes. They’ll have to develop their own estate plan in the absence of yours, and their decisions may not be in alignment with your wishes. It’s also possible that without an estate plan your family could fall into conflict with each other over your assets. That’s likely something you don’t want to see happen.
I work with my clients and trusted estate planning professionals to develop an estate plan that respects and protects your wishes, while also minimizing costs for things like taxes and probate. Together, we determine which tools, documents, and products best meet your legacy planning needs.
Some considerations that we often discuss during the planning process include:
- Who should participate in your estate and which assets should they receive?
- Do you have any dependents who will need financial support in your absence?
- Do you want to leave funds for any charities or community organizations?
- Do any of your heirs need restrictions or management assistance with their inheritance?
- What are your wishes with regard to end-of-life? What should happen if you are not capable of making or communicating decisions?
- Is your estate at risk of reduction due to taxes or probate costs?
- If you are a business owner, have you setup the proper buy-sell agreement and have you funded the agreement?
This is just a sampling of some of the issues we may discuss. Depending on your unique needs, there are any number of additional questions and topics that could be relevant.
Your family will already be emotionally fragile after your passing. Without an estate plan in place, they may also be faced with a complicated and challenging financial situation. If you don’t have a plan for your legacy, let’s start the conversation as soon as possible. I welcome the opportunity to help you protect your estate and your family.