In my blog post dated November 13, 2018, I addressed the fifth of six keys to creating a financial plan: Retirement Planning. We discussed the actions and decisions you need to undertake to realize your retirement goals. Here is a link to that post – Retirement Planning.
The sixth key area in any sound financial plan is Estate Conservation. Estate Conservation may be the most overlooked part of financial management. I have found that many people put off even the most basic steps such as drafting a will. Others allow their wills to become outdated due to tax law changes or changes in their personal situation.
Perhaps people put off estate conservation because they just do not want to think about death or because the need for planning seems so far away. Many people choose to ignore the likelihood that their estates will be worth far more in the future, when estate conservation is most important.
Your estate is all the wealth you have accumulated over your lifetime. This includes your home, car, stocks, bonds, business interests, retirement plans, personal effects, and anything else you own or possibly control. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common - you cannot take it with you when you die.
Estate conservation is not just the management of your estate and assets during your lifetime. The goal of estate conservation is to also make arrangements for the timely and cost effective distribution of your estate upon your death. You need to know your wishes are going to be carried out.
Estate planning is for everyone - not just for the retired, elderly or wealthy. Good estate conservation often means more to families with modest assets, because they can afford to lose the least. If you do not have a plan for your assets after you die, your state has one for you, but you probably will not like it.
Effective Estate Conservation has numerous and varied components. Some of the issues to consider, in no particular order, include:
- An estate plan should start with a will and/or a living trust.
- Who should inherit your assets?
- When and how should they inherit the assets?
- Bequests to charity
- Establishing a guardian for living dependents
- Naming an executor of the estate to oversee the terms of the will
- How to provide liquid capital to cover such things as burial, settlement, and income tax costs
- Power of Attorney for financial affairs
- Living Will & Health Care Power of Attorney
Petra Financial Solutions has an Estate Organizer just for you, because the best time to plan your estate is now. The benefit of the Organizer is peace of mind.
Please click this link to receive the organizer in your inbox: Petra Financial Estate Organizer.
Until next time, cheers!