Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common—you can’t take it with you when you die.
When that happens—and it is a “when” and not an “if”—you probably want to control how those things are given to the people or organizations you care most about. To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to provide instructions stating whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it. You will, of course, want this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.
That is estate planning—making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die. However, good estate planning is much more than that.
A will is also useful if you have a trust. A trust is a legal mechanism that lets you put conditions on how your assets are distributed after you die and it often lets you minimize gift and estate taxes. ... Any assets that are not retitled in the name of the trust are considered subject to probate.
We believe that money - and strictly focusing on numbers - shouldn’t be the focus of your financial plan. Instead, your plan should start and end with your values and what is most important to you in life. Money isn’t the focus - it’s what your wealth provides you and how you wish to use it. Through Values-Based Financial Planning, we believe you can feel more inspired to pursue your goals and stay on track with your financial roadmap.