Estate Planning – What Is It?
Estate planning is the systematic planning and anticipation, over a person’s lifetime, of the disposition and management of that person’s estate following his or her death, if the individual becomes incapacitated. In addition to this there are three other steps to estate planning, which include probate, administration of a trust and succession planning.
Estate planning has become an important aspect of society and of many families. This is particularly so in today’s environment, where there are so many families who are struggling with large estates. Often people are reluctant to consider estate planning due to the stigma attached to it.
Unfortunately, this stigma is often attached to many people. Many people feel they are somehow different from the rest of society and if they do decide to undertake estate planning they will have to be embarrassed about the procedure. Unfortunately, the vast majority of families do not have a good estate plan. They have policies in place but often lack a legal basis.
If you have been a victim of this situation you may be able to salvage your own assets from the process but without a well designed and implemented ‘family’property’ property plan in place, your own estate planning and maintenance efforts may not give sufficient reassurance that your assets will continue to be safe. This is especially true if your assets were obtained through fraud or dishonesty.
The best solution for this is to look at your own life in advance, taking stock of where you are now financially and what your family will require in future. It is then possible to plan a suitable ‘estate’ and financial strategies that are in line with your wishes. Once you have a suitable plan and financial plans in place, it is then possible to discuss these with a solicitor or accountant. It is important that all parties involved are clear about what the plan is and how it will be carried out.
Planning correctly can also prevent a number of problems down the track. In many instances when you have a suitable strategy and an experienced legal adviser, you can avoid paying large amounts of tax on an inherited estate, whilst making sure that you leave a secure future for your family.
There are some situations where an experienced specialist financial planner will be required and they should always be employed by a qualified and reputable firm. A good accountant will be familiar with your circumstances and will have the necessary knowledge and resources to help you create a proper plan that you can both be comfortable with and rely upon.
In addition to this, it is important to have a good estate plan, because once you pass away, your property will become jointly owned between you and your spouse. If you leave it in joint names, it means that your wishes regarding your property and inheritance may not be respected by others.
When it comes to protecting your assets, it is vital that both partners in the marriage understand and appreciate the value of their assets. If there is no agreement about this, the partner who leaves the property alone and lives independently should seek advice from a financial advisor.
A legal adviser should help you choose the correct plan. He or she should have a good understanding of the law and he or she should have experience in the area of property law. It is essential to choose the correct lawyer or financial advisor to ensure that the best possible plan is chosen.
As people get older and pass away, there are many different circumstances that arise. For example, many people inherit money during their lifetimes; others buy houses; and others inherit substantial items such as cars.
If your wishes are known upfront, it is easier to prepare properly and to make sure that your wishes are carried out. A good estate planner should be capable of explaining why you have chosen certain steps and should be able to demonstrate exactly how they will benefit you and your loved ones.