Legacy & Estate Planning
Once a year, as part of the InSight-Full® planning process, we want to ensure that our clients have a plan and update that plan annually for when they pass, expectedly or unexpectedly. Although this isn’t the most exciting topic to chat about, it is one that when left undone, can cause a lot of stress when that can already be a very difficult time. As part of this process, we run through a test trial to see that if something happens to you, does your plan get executed the way you want it to or not. This simple test sheds a lot of light on whether or not your family, loved ones, heirs, or business partners understand what is required of them to distribute the assets in your name accordingly. From simple account titling issues or even knowing where assets are can cause major issues. Our goal is to ensure that there is a plan based on what you want to happen to implement when you’re no longer around. When done correctly, your plan can be easy to implement and your legacy continues. When not done or done incorrectly, your loved ones aren’t taken care of, loved ones can be forgotten or treated differently, families can fight and cause unnecessary stress, charities go without funding, businesses fail, and much more.
Our clients and ourselves find comfort in knowing that your requests are fulfilled, your loved ones know who to reach out to, and we have your instructions for how things should be handled and distributed. As many of you know, there are some things you can do on your own when it comes to your estate plan, but this is one part of the process that you will need to hire a professional for legal help in formulating some documents such as powers of attorney, wills, and trusts as they should not be done without professional guidance.
For most of our clients, it’s imperative that you have established power of attorneys and guardians if you have kids when you don’t have the ability to make decisions on your own. If you’re married and something happens to both you and your spouse, appointing a guardian to care for your kids is a must. If health declines rapidly or you’re incapacitated in any way, empowering someone to pay your bills, help make health care decisions, support your family, distribute assets, are all things that need to be done while this is happening to you.
This is also a time that we help clients establish the legacy they want to leave behind. The ability to support future generations with the assets to help them with the rising costs of healthcare and education is something that can have a lasting effect for generations to come. If you’re charitable inclined, your gift could support a meaningful cause. Whatever the goal, step one is to have a plan and step two is to continually update the plan with your loved ones as things change. Through our InSight-full® plan, we support our clients annually with this process.
Discussing your options with your financial advisor, accountant and/or an estate planning professional can help you find the best option(s) for estate planning that allow you to maximize gifts while also minimizing potential tax implications.