The third week in October is National Estate Planning
Awareness Week. Now is a good time to begin making decisions on distribution of your estate assets
Estate planning—a financial process that can protect you
and your family—is not just for the wealthy, it’s important
for everyone. Now is the perfect time to put your estate
planning house in order. If you don’t have an up-to-date
estate plan and you happen to get hurt or sick and cannot
manage your financial affairs, the courts will have to appoint someone to manage them for you. The person they
appoint might not be the one you would want to perform
Without an estate plan, when you pass away, your affairs will be settled by default through a complex legal system called “probate.” The handling of your financial affairs
can turn into a costly and frustrating ordeal for your family and heirs.
Put it in Writing
The crafting of a good estate plan starts with planning, followed by the
proper drafting and signing of appropriate legal documents such as wills,
trusts, buy-sell agreements, durable powers of attorney for asset management and an advanced healthcare power of attorney. Having these
documents in place saves you and your family a lot of money at a very
difficult and emotional time. Your estate planning should also address
the coordination of the way you hold title to your various assets, your
beneficiary selections and the possible transfer of certain assets while
you are alive.
Plan Ahead Regardless of the Size of Your Estate
Regardless of the extent of your net worth, estate planning is important
for everyone. Complex strategies may be used by wealthy people to reduce death taxes and costs. Others may only require a simple will and/or
trust to pass on property to their heirs and provide for minor children.
Even if a simple will is all you require, an estate plan is an essential part
of your financial planning. Everybody will need it someday; the time to
address or update your estate plan is now.
IREM insider / FOUNDATION NEWS
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ASSE TS, WE URGE YOU TO
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