A Message from Michelle & Dan
This October 17-23, we celebrate National Estate Planning Awareness Week. This week is a time to raise awareness about the importance of estate planning and to encourage everyone to create a plan for their future.
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy or the elderly. It is for everyone, regardless of their age or income. Key legal documents help your chosen agent(s) to facilitate your health care, legal & financial decisions if you are unable to do so for yourself. This is critical to provide you with the support and care you need should you become incapacitated. Additionally, a well-crafted estate plan can help you to:
- Protect your assets and your loved ones
- Ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away
- Minimize estate taxes
- Avoid probate disputes
If you don’t have an estate plan in place, now is the time to create one. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Take inventory of your assets. This includes everything from your bank accounts and investments to your home and personal belongings.
- Decide who you want to inherit your assets. Once you know what you have, you can start to think about who you want to leave it to.
- Choose an Personal Representative / Executor. This is the person who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes after you pass away.
- Create a will. A will is a legal document that states your wishes for the distribution of your assets after you die.
- Consider creating a trust. Trusts can offer a number of benefits, such as asset protection and tax savings.
If you have any questions or concerns about estate planning, please consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Here are a few additional tips for talking to your loved ones about estate planning:
- Be sensitive to their feelings. Estate planning can be a difficult topic to discuss, so it’s important to be understanding and compassionate.
- Start the conversation early. The sooner you start talking about estate planning, the more time everyone will have to think about their wishes.
- Involve others in the conversation. Having multiple people present can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Emphasize the importance of estate planning. Explain to your loved ones how estate planning can help to protect them and their future.
Estate planning is an important part of everyone’s financial planning. By taking the time to create an estate plan, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away.