Estate Planning Is a Process
Estate planning is much more than compiling a will or trust. It includes dealing with the distribution of assets, minimizing taxes and probate fees, and handling issues of incapacity in your later years.
Planning your estate is an essential step in the ongoing process of financial planning. Estate planning can be defined as a process that encompasses the accumulation, conservation, and distribution of an estate. The primary purpose of estate planning is to develop a plan that will enhance and maintain the financial security of you and your family, while fulfilling your wishes as closely as possible. Part of this process includes selecting who will control the distribution of assets and how the transfer should occur, while minimizing probate fees, transfer cost, and taxes.
Without proper planning, the state and federal governments determine your plan. And that plan may not be consistent with your needs, goals, and best interest.
Estate planning encompasses many issues and raises questions such as the following for you to consider:
- What happens if I do nothing?
- How do I want my property distributed?
- Will these be big bills to pay?
- Where will the money to pay these bills come from?
- What will happen if I become frail?
- Who will make decisions about the type of care I receive if I become disabled and unable to make them?
- Is there sufficient assets to support my spouse?