Estate Planning

Estate Planning Tips for Individuals

estatePlanningTips_141190603Although estate planning is an ongoing process where you will make plenty of changes throughout the years, it is, nonetheless, one of the most important plans you will ever make; for, an estate plan also protects your family from making difficult financial decisions in the midst of grieving. Here are seven tips for successful estate planning.

  1. Organize yourself. This means you should ensure your personal information, especially your financial information (i.e. bank and investment accounts and contract numbers, insurance policies, tax information, etc.), is up to date and stored somewhere safe that your family, beneficiaries, attorney, or financial advisor can access in the event of your passing.
  2. Update your will. Make sure your will reflects your current intentions. If you do not have a will, contact us to steer you in the right direction for getting one drafted.
  3. Double-check the names. Ensure that you have selected and currently identified who you want as an executor for your estate. Also, ensure all beneficiaries are on your list and their designations are listed correctly.
  4. Consolidate your finances. You should streamline your bank accounts and investments to simplify administration. This means they should be joint accounts to ensure resources are easily available.
  5. Minimize taxes. Speak with us about how you can allow your estate to bypass probate and how to minimize taxes through investment strategies.
  6. Discuss your plans. You should discuss your estate plan with your family to keep them informed and to help them understand your decisions.
  7. Contact us. We are an invaluable resource in estate planning. We can help you with nearly all of the above tips. We can help you select and integrate planning tools to meet your individual objectives and will balance your needs and goals to develop a personalized plan that satisfies your objectives. We will also outline your current and future financial position, explore different ways of increasing the value of your assets, examine the liquidity of your estate, and suggest ways to reduce estate taxation.