18 July, 2018

Estate Planning: First Steps

estate planning

Part of retirement planning encompasses an estate plan. Estate planning is more than money. It’s about defining the legacy you want to leave for your loved one. Most people make estate plans to express their care, generosity, and love for their family. For many, it’s the most heartfelt use of the assets collected over a lifetime of hard work.

However, many people put off estate planning for as long as they can. And creating a Will makes you think about something you’d rather not think about. You might also think you don’t have enough assets to warrant one.

Estate planning isn’t only for the wealthy. If you have any assets (a house, guaranteed pension income, investment assets or life insurance benefits) or any debts, you want to have a plan in place that will help protect your loved ones.

The Help you need

Estate planning can be a daunting task and can be very complicated with many factors involved. It isn’t something you should do alone. As your Financial Advisor, you can talk to me about planning your estate, especially if you’re already working with me on a retirement plan.

I can help you gather the right information to get started as well as explain the process. Estate planning can take several meetings to fine-tune and remember, it’s a plan that should be revisited periodically to ensure it keeps up with your life.

Here are just a few things you and I will talk about:

1. Will and Powers of Attorney

There is no estate planning without a Will and Powers of Attorney. So, it all starts here. I can help you find the right lawyer to ensure your wishes are met.

2. Assets and debt

I’ve talked about assets already, but debts are important too. A good estate plan will ensure that your debt is properly managed and/or paid.

3. Beneficiaries

If you want to leave specific assets to certain people or charities, a Will is the best way to ensure that happens.

4. An executor

I’ll work with you to help you learn more about the process of selecting an executor, and outline the key items to consider when you make your final selection.

5. Tax planning

Working alongside your accountant, I can suggest some strategies that may reduce your estate taxes at death. I’ll help you work with estate professionals who will ensure you have the right plan for you and your family.

Your estate plan is too important to overlook. I can help you take the first step towards setting up an estate plan. Contact our office today to get started.