Estate planning is one of the most crucial aspects of financial planning. It solidifies answers to the questions:
- Who will receive a legacy from me after I pass – my heirs or the government?
- Will my assets be tied up in probate for months/years or pass free and clear to my heirs?
- Will my family be able to stay in their home after I die (this is especially crucial for 2nd marriages, especially with children)
- Who will make decisions for me if I become incapacitated?
- Who is allowed to call the hospital to find out about my health status?
- Who will be responsible for my minor children if my spouse and I die?
- Do I understand my estate planning documents?
- Which assets (IRAs, Roth IRAs, HSAs, Individual accounts) make the most tax sense to leave to which class of beneficiary (grandchildren, children, charities)?
We can help you make sense of it all. Estate planning allows you to be in control of the disposition of your assets after death.
Common mistakes we see include:
- Having specific bequests in a will, when all financial asset accounts have named beneficiaries. In many cases, after appropriate asset titling is implemented, nothing significant will pass through the will.
- Not having any estate planning in place, resulting in paperwork chaos after death
- Estate planning that was created but not funded (for example, a revocable trust was established but bank and investment accounts remain in the name of the individual, instead of being retitled in the name of the trust)