Estate planning is the orderly transition of your legacy to loved ones. That sounds good, but what is a legacy? It is often financial, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you may own property of some value and also accumulated wealth. You’ve worked long and hard to attain this property and wealth, and probably would like to see it go to your family, particularly children, so that they can benefit from your hard work and get a head start in life. You can give them money or other property while you are alive and/or leave them an inheritance when you pass away. This is a financial legacy.
If you have minor children, you will want to assure that they are well cared for if you pass away, not only financially, but also to be raised in the way that you would have raised them. You want to pass on your values and beliefs to your children and that they’ll never forget you. That is also your legacy.
Estate planning is not about dying, but about living because estate plans are created while you are alive and well. It includes things that you will accomplish during your lifetime. It allows you to decide whom should benefit from your legacy. By planning, the choice is yours, and not the government’s.
You can decide how much your heirs should receive, as well as the mechanics behind transferring that legacy, including the timing and the method. It includes protecting your family today and for the future, protecting your assets, distributing your wealth in the manner that you wish, and maximizing the distributions of that wealth to your intended heirs.