When prepared properly and thoughtfully, an estate plan protects you and your family while you are living, and after you have passed away, provides an orderly means of helping your heirs manage your estate and benefit from your life’s work.
Transferring assets after death is just a small part of estate planning. It is something that needs to be done throughout your life to use, preserve and transfer assets in the most efficient way possible. Start by determining your overall goals, says The Jamaica (WI) Gleaner in “Personal Financial Adviser | Why estate planning is necessary.” Do you wish to make sure that your spouse has enough money to live on and is able to retain ownership of the family home? Or are you more concerned with funding your children’s college education? Or do you want to accomplish both goals?
Once you’ve made a list of your goals, you can begin working with an estate planning attorney to figure out the best way to make it happen. He or she will help you to prepare the necessary documents and advise you on acquiring assets and registering titles in the way that best meets your objectives. Things change, so review your plan every few years. There could be births, deaths, marriages, and divorces in your family; your assets may gain or lose value, and the laws may change.
Estate planning lets you decide who distributes your assets after your passing and can reduce the stress and costs of settling your estate.
Your estate plan will need to include liquid assets for your beneficiaries and to settle debts, claims and expenses. There are many different tools available to transfer assets, including life insurance, joint ownership of assets, inter vivos gifts and trusts among them. Your estate planning attorney will work with you to determine which are the most suitable for you and to create the best plan for your situation.
The goal of our estate plans is to avoid Probate after death. Please call Legacy Counsellors, P.C. today to schedule an initial consultation to create your unique estate plan. (413) 527-0517
Reference: The Jamaica (WI) Gleaner (November 20, 2016) “Personal Financial Adviser | Why estate planning is necessary”