Why is estate planning important?

The assets that you have accumulated all your life will be divided into three different categories:

1. What you spend

Ordinarily, the bulk of your lifetime of accumulation will be spent on yourself and, possibly your spouse. Some will certainly be spent on children and grandchildren, if you are so fortunate, but the bulk will be used for your lifestyle. During your lifetime, accessing the funds that you have accumulated using a tax-efficient strategy, can cause more funds to be available to you.

2. What the government takes

Often the government is your largest beneficiary, despite who you have designated as your beneficiaries. Careful tax planning is required — both before and throughout retirement — to keep this share of your assets as small as possible, leaving more for you and your chosen beneficiaries.

3. What you give away

People generally assume that what they wish to happen when they pass away will happen “by default”. This is not necessarily the case which is why an Estate Plan and a valid “Last Will & Testament” , that incorporates your Estate Plan, is so important. Even an apparently “simple” estate can run into problems without this legal document to guide your family.

For more information, or to update your current Estate Plan, contact me.

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Estate planning

Who

  • Age 65 and over
  • Increased net worth
  • No longer working or working part time

Priorities

  • Mortgage is paid off
  • Little to no debt
  • Staying on budget
  • Living off savings
  • Reducing income tax
  • Taking care of the “what-ifs?”
  • Long term care
  • Premature death
  • Make a will
  • Consider powers of attorneys
  • Making sure health insurance is adequate
  • Estate planning