An estate consists of everything you own, pensions, homes, investment accounts, bank accounts, business holdings, personal family belongings. The estate planning process is the vehicle one uses to put a plan in place that focuses on not only what happens to your assets once you die, but also addresses what happens to you as well as your assets during your lifetime. A carefully planned and well drafted estate plan allows you to decide who will control and who will receive your assets once you have passed, a well drafted plan will also protect you and your assets if you happen to become incapacitated during your lifetime.
There is no predetermined age to begin estate planning, it should be based on your individual needs and should be designed with that purpose in mind. There really are no boilerplate plans that fit everyone.
Most believe that only older individuals should be concerned with estate planning matters and inheritance issues, this is a dangerous misconception that will undoubtedly lead to a future laced with uncertainty and increased expenses.
By taking all the necessary steps now to plan your estate you will be able to:
- Choose the executors or trustees of your estate
- Plan for possible future incapacity
- Protect assets
- Provide for your closest family members
- Determine when and how property is disbursed to beneficiaries
- Avoid probate
- Minimize Federal and State transfer taxes
- Provide for the orderly transfer of a family held business
- Minimize the burden on your grieving family members
For a detailed analyses of possible estate plan options to fit your needs contact the Law Offices of John A Russo.