Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, bank deposits, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common—you can’t take it with you when you die.
When that happens—and it is a “when” and not an “if”—you probably want to control how those things are given to the people or organizations you care most about. To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to provide instructions stating whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it. You will, of course, want this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.
That is estate planning—making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die.
With an estate plan, you can:
- Provide support and financial stability for your surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren.
- Preserve your wealth for later generations.
- Make sure your wishes are carried out when you can no longer manage your affairs.
- Support a favorite charity or cause with a gift of money, securities, or other property.
- Distribute assets in a timely fashion, with a minimum of legal hassle.
- Minimize taxes and expenses that can go along with transferring assets.
- Provide enough cash to meet expenses and prevent the forced sale of assets.
- Avoid problems for your loved ones by ensuring that the beneficiaries named on your life insurance and retirement plans are still the people you want to benefit.
- Protect your family’s privacy with an estate plan designed to prevent your will from becoming public record.
- Set and meet expectations of your survivors so there is no confusion or misunderstanding.
The tools for ‘Estate Planning’ include Power of Attorney, WILL, Trust, MWP Act etc. These tools must be carefully selected only after considering the needs of the estate owner during his/her life period and his/her desire to distribute/bequeath the assets post his life period. A professionally qualified estate planner can assist you in taking the suitable decision after through counselling.
Your decision to have ‘Estate Planning’ will help to ‘protect your family’s future’.