What is estate planning?
Estate planning is the process of planning what will happen to your assets at the time of your death. Estate planning is not always an easy topic to deal with, but having a thought-out plan in place is important for not only you but your beneficiaries.
Every adult should have an up-to-date estate plan that outlines:
- Who is responsible for distributing your assets?
- Who gets what and when will they get it?
- Who will take care of your children?
- Who will manage any trust accounts?
- Who will make financial and medical decisions if you are incapacitated?
Why is it important? Controlling your legacy
Having a plan in place for your estate is an integral part of any good financial plan. The best way to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death is having a legal up-to-date will. Without careful planning, your estate could be tied up in the courts for months or even years and the government could end up collecting more taxes than is necessary.
When dealing with something as important as your estate, you don’t want to leave anything open to interpretation especially around how your estate will be divided up between family members.
To take control of your estate, we suggest the following five steps:
- Determine your estate planning goals.
- Consider which estate planning tools fit your situation best.
- Choose the people you would like to speak for you.
- Start raising estate-planning issues with your family.
- Keep your estate plan up to date.
- Your Estate Plan – Getting Started PDF 180 KB