So what exactly is your estate? Simply put, it is everything you own. This includes your home (and any other real property you own), furniture, personal possessions, car, bank accounts, insurance, and anything else owned by you.
Estate planning is act of preparing for many important issues, including:
- Providing instructions for your care in the event you are incapacitated or unable to communicate;
- Naming someone to manage your financial affairs in case you are unable to do so yourself;
- Naming legal guardians for your children;
- Providing for your children (or other family members) with special needs in a way that won’t affect their government benefits
- Protecting loved ones from creditors, predators, opportunists, and unnecessary taxes;
- Providing protection for your assets, both during your lifetime and after;
- Minimizing estate taxes and probate fees;
- Planning for your retirement and long-term care costs.
Unfortunately, that’s about as far as most estate plans go. And that’s why they ultimately fail to help build wealth and preserve a legacy for the families that are counting on them.
You see, your wealth is much more than just the financial assets in your estate. Real wealth includes your purposes, passions, family values, memories and the stories that make up your own personal journey. This is your legacy.
A complete estate plan should not only give you control over how your estate is distributed to the people or organizations you care about, but also help to preserve and leave your real wealth and legacy for the next generation and beyond.
If you don’t already have an estate plan – or have one that needs to be reviewed and updated – make 2014 the year you get this done. We normally charge $750 for a Family Estate Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.