What is Estate Planning?
The first thing you need to know is that it’s more than just drafting a will.
Estate planning describes the process of determining what happens to your assets after you die. A less morbid explanation is that estate planning ensures your family and loved ones are taken care of in accordance with your wishes. Either way, estate planning should matter to everyone, regardless of wealth.
The reason we all should care about estate planning is simple: everyone has an estate. This is comprised of everything you own: real estate, checking accounts, jewelry, and everything in between. Because there are so many components to estate planning, including tax planning, medical planning, business and financial planning, it’s considered an ongoing process—constantly undergoing revisions.
First, creating your estate plan will entail doing some inventory on your assets—what they are and what their value is. It also requires you to consider the people in your life you can trust. This means thinking about who you would designate to manage your assets or make decisions for you if you were to become unable. Also, consider who would take care of your children (if they’re under 18) when you’re gone. Since these are serious considerations, give yourself plenty of time to think about them and put them in writing. Finally, try to make the decision of how you want your remains to be laid to rest. While never a fun thought to entertain, it’s important that you’re not putting stress on your loved ones to make decisions for you. Helping those you care about avoid extra worry once you’re gone is the most important part of estate planning.
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We are a full service advisory firm dedicated to helping individuals connect with our network of professionals to assist them with investment management, financial planning, tax preparation and planning, estate planning, insurance planning, real estate transaction costs, and much more. For more information and answers to any of your questions, consult FC360 here. We’d love to hear from you!