Personal Finance

What is Estate Planning and why do I need it?


When we hear the word estate people automatically think of someone dying, and as such they think of Estate Planning as financial planning for a person’s death. There is a lot more involved with Estate Planning however, that is more about planning for life than death. Below are a few things you should know about Estate Planning in order to maintain your lifestyle as the years pass.

What does Estate Planning Include?

One component of Estate Planning is exactly what you think of, planning for when someone dies. This is the most thought of aspect of Estate Planning and includes preparing your Will, or any Trust Accounts as well as property wishes. Beyond this type of planning, Estate Planning also includes:

  • What will happen if you are incapacitated? – It is not fun to think about the possibility of being laid up or mentally incapable of managing the day to day business that needs to be dealt with. However if this should ever happen, it is important to have a well thought out and detailed written plan of how your assets and business dealings should be handled while you are unable to manage them.
  • How will your property be maintained if you are on extended travel? Extended travel could be either a vacation that you have saved your entire adult life for, or sometimes it is something much more serious such as a sick relative that needs caring for; either way being out of town for any extended period of time can make it difficult to deal with personal business. That is why it is good to include in your Estate Planning package written details regarding who is allowed to access your accounts and take care of business that you cannot deal with from the road.
  • image2Who will manage your accounts and assets if you are unable to? As we age our abilities to manage some types of finances sometimes deteriorate, making it vital that there is someone trustworthy to manage your affairs. This type of planning should be done well in advance of needing this type of assistance to avoid any possible legality that could occur.
  • How to protect your asset in case of divorce? – You work hard for what you have and when marrying later in life, it is important to have the proper legal documents in place to protect you from losing what you have worked so hard for in case of an unexpected divorce. Estate Planning can walk you through the marriage laws and how to protect yourself for not only a bad later in life marriage, but also con-artists, creditors, etc.
  • image3How you can protect your heirs from certain types of taxation when you die? – More directly related to planning for after your death, this area of Estate Planning assist you in preparing your assets, Will, and insurance needs to protect your heirs from shysters, over taxation, and other unfortunate circumstances that often arise when managing a person’s estate after their death.

The overall goal of Estate Planning is to protect you and your loved ones, both in life and after you have passed. Taking care of your Estate Planning now will make life easier for you later on, and life easier for your loved one’s after you have passed.