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Everything You Need to Know about Estate Planning


Estate planning is the process of deciding what happens to your assets and debts when you pass away. The basics of estate planning include thinking about taxes, how to distribute your assets, and who will manage your estate. An estate plan protects your assets for you and your heirs while ensuring everything is done according to your wishes.

At its core, your estate plan dictates what happens to your financial assets. But it’s not just about your assets. Your estate plan can include a trust, which administers funds to your beneficiaries in whichever manner you choose. You can even use a trust to distribute funds during your lifetime. 

Your estate plan spells out in detail what happens to your finances and any other assets. These can include valuables, real estate, retirement plans, and investment accounts. Our financial advisors can help you create an estate plan that considers the tax implications and maximizes what your heirs receive.

Examples of Estate Planning

Our financial estate planners use different tools to create an estate plan that protects your assets and follows your wishes. Here are some things we might include:

  • Create a trust fund for your beneficiaries to control how much income they receive.
  • Consider the tax implications of your estate plan and minimize estate taxes for your heirs.
  • Verify your retirement and investment accounts have the right beneficiary designations.
  • Recommend alternate options of transferring assets.

We tailor your estate plan to meet your specific needs, but the plan is fluid and may need adjusting. We actually recommend reviewing it regularly to make sure it still reflects your current wishes.

Benefits of Financial Estate Planning

The biggest benefits of working with our estate planning financial advisors is that you can make sure your assets are passed along according to your wishes and your heirs don’t pay more taxes than necessary. Asset preservation is also an important part of estate planning, allowing you to preserve your wealth for future generations.

5 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Estate Planning

How Does an Estate Plan Help My Family?

Our first priority is helping you take care of yourself and your family. We want to learn more about your personal situation, identify your dreams and goals, and understand your tolerance for risk. Long-term relationships that encourage open and honest communication have been the cornerstone of my foundation of success.

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Without an estate plan, your estate goes before the probate court. The court then decides what happens to your estate, which includes your investments, bank accounts, and other assets you may have. When you create an estate plan, you can minimize the tax burden for your heirs and also distribute your wealth the way you want to.

How Does an Estate Plan Help My Family?

With your estate plan, you clearly communicate your wishes to your family. They will not have to fight in court over who gets what. Our financial estate planners can reduce the tax burden for your heirs, preserving more of your wealth for them to enjoy. When there’s no estate plan, it creates turmoil and uncertainty for surviving family members.

When Should I Create an Estate Plan?

If you own significant assets, it’s a good idea to have an estate plan in place. Otherwise, estate taxes will take a sizable chunk out of it. You want a financial estate plan to divide your property and assets among your heirs according to your wishes.

How Can I Protect My Assets?

An estate and asset protection plan can help you keep your investment and other assets safe, allowing you to pass down your wealth through your estate. You can even set up a trust fund that manages distributions of your assets to your beneficiaries, which can happen after you die or during your lifetime. With a trust fund, you can control how much income your heirs receive.

What Happens to My Retirement Accounts When I Die?

Your retirement accounts are not part of your estate when you die. Your designated beneficiary will receive the benefits from your retirement plan. It’s important to update this information regularly, especially if your original beneficiary predeceases you.

Let Us Help You Create an Estate Plan

If you have amassed significant wealth, it’s important to create an estate plan to distribute the assets among the heirs and minimize taxation. We can help you create or review your estate plan to protect your generational wealth. Call today to schedule an appointment with us.