Helping to ensure your intentions are realized in full
Simply stated, estate planning is a method for determining how to distribute your property during your life and at your death. It is the process of developing and implementing a master plan that facilitates the distribution of your property after your death and according to your goals and objectives.
If you care about how, and to whom, your property is distributed and wish to ensure that your property is preserved for your loved ones, you need to know more about estate planning.
Pursuing your goals through a better-planned estate
Your goals and objectives are personal, but you can't formulate a successful plan without a clear and precise understanding of what they are. Your plans can be based on your particular circumstances and those factors that may affect your estate, as discussed earlier. But your feelings and desires are of equal importance.
The following are some goals and objectives you might consider:
- Providing financial security for your family
- Ensuring that your property is preserved and passed on to your beneficiaries
- Avoiding disputes among family members or business owners, or with third parties (such as the IRS)
- Enabling your children's or grandchildren's education
- Providing for your favorite charity
- Maintaining control over or ensuring the competent management of your property in case of incapacity
- Minimizing estate taxes and other costs
- Avoiding probate
- Providing adequate liquidity for the settlement of your estate
- Business succession: Transferring ownership of your business to your beneficiaries
This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Investors should consult with a tax or legal professional regarding their individual situation.