The Estate Planning Crisis
To discuss how we an assist with you estate planning or arranging for a demonstration of Legacy Guide, call 303-694-1600 or fill out the form.
THE ESTATE PLANNING CRISIS
Current trends in estate planning point to a decline in having a plan in place when an individual passes. Learn how to prevent the state taking control of your estate and ensure you are in control of the process.
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not just for the super wealthy. Read the topics below to see why.
The primary purpose of estate planning remains what it always has been—not to leave a mess for your heirs to sort out. While a component of the ‘mess’ for most of us no longer involves liquidating large portions of an estate to satisfy Uncle Sam’s estate tax, planning is still necessary for everyone.
If you pass with no estate plan in place, state law dictates how your assets are distributed. This can lead to some very poor unintended consequences. While most of your estate will be inherited by your direct decedents, some states also have provisions that part of your estate be distributed to other relatives.
In any event, you want to make sure your estate is not administered through probate. In some states, probate can cause very substantial delays and expense, not to mention that someone that you do not know may end up being appointed by the court to settle your estate, and the court probate officer will be paid out of estate assets.
A proper plan will often include creation of a trust to hold title to real estate and other assets, and to set your choices for how the assets will be distributed. A will is used to catch any assets not in the trust or designated, and a trustee/executor for the estate will be appointed in the trust and will.
Assets like 401K plans, IRAs and some real estate assets can be handled by designating beneficiaries, or making sure that title to the assets include succession rights.
Once you have set up the estate plan and provided proper directions, estate settlement should not be difficult. However, if your plan is not up to date, and if it is difficult to find and transfer assets, your heirs will have to sort it all out.
Even with a good estate plan, your heirs will still have numerous tasks that must be completed to settle the estate, such as filing notices, selling assets, preparing accountings, and making sure all debts are paid. The list could go on for several pages, but the bottom line is, please, think of the people you care about that are going to have to clean up this mess.
At Presidential Wealth Management we use a web-based system that takes much of the mystery out of the estate planning and estate settlement.
We provide clients with the ability to enter your assets in our web-based system, and provide access to your advisor and estate attorney. You can then upload estate planning documents you have prepared in the past, if you have any. This will permit a full picture to be viewed by the experts that will be making sure your estate plan is comprehensive, and insure that you have an estate that is easy to settle—if you don’t have an estate attorney we can provide you with referrals.
The system we use—LegacyGuide— has several added features that you can use if you would like, such as a family tree builder and an easy way to write your life story that you can pass down to your decedents.
The passing of a loved one is stressful enough without the added burden of sorting out a messy estate. If you have been involved in settling a difficult estate, then you know what I’m talking about—make it easy for your family. Let your advisor know if you are interested in starting the process.
If you are interested in seeing how we can help you with estate and legacy planning, fill out the form below to schedule a demonstration of LegacyGuide.