If something should happen to you (death or incapacitation) you want to ensure your assets will be preserved and managed in a way that best meets the needs of you and your family. You will want to establish guardians for your children and/or living dependents. You will want to ensure that your long-term health needs are met as well as any necessary funeral arrangements. Any gifts or legacy items you may leave behind should be fully detailed. Finally, you want to ensure all of the above is completed in a way that is the most tax-efficient now, and in the future. All of this can be accomplished with proper Estate Planning.
The most common documents in Estate Planning are a will and a trust. A will is a legal document that instructs how your property and custody of any minor children should be handled upon your death or incapacitation. A trust is usually created to carry out the intentions of the will. This can be a living trust (in effect during your lifetime) and/or a testamentary trust (after death).
Merely establishing a trust isn’t enough, it’s important financial accounts of your choosing are placed in said trust. Your financial professional can help you ensure your accounts are titled properly and fit within your full financial plan. A best practice is for your financial professional and legal advisor drafting your trust and/or will work together on your behalf. Estate planning can become very complicated (depending on assets owned, etc.) and working with a good team simplifies the process and safeguards your assets and wishes.
InvestorKeep will send you an annual alert to ensure any changes in your life and financial plan are updated in your estate planning.