While it can sometimes be hard to talk about, an estate plan is critical to ensuring your wishes are best carried out. An estate plan is the guiding blueprint that will serve to manage an individual’s assets if they die or become incapacitated. The estate plan is a comprehensive outline which can include documentation that stays in effect during your lifetime and other documentation that goes into effect after your death. In particular, the financial estate plan encompasses the bequest of assets to heirs or beneficiaries and the settlement of estate taxes.
More than simply drafting a will, financial estate planning includes details as to who has the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf during your life, as well as who receives your assets after your death. A will is a vital component of financial estate planning, but it is not the only piece of the puzzle. Our estate planning process takes a holistic approach focusing on tax-smart strategies, privacy, and efficiency, whether that means establishing trusts, maximizing giving strategies, or reviewing your beneficiaries.
-Davey Quinn, Founder of Pine Harbor Wealth Management
The main purpose of financial estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are honored when you pass away. An estate plan will ensure that your assets are correctly dispersed at the appropriate time to protect what matters most and protect your loved ones. Protecting your loved ones includes protecting them from paying unnecessary fees and taxes because of poor planning or no planning at all.
Protect Beneficiaries – It is important to protect your beneficiaries regardless of what assets you have in your estate. If you don’t decide in advance who receives which assets when you pass away, you won’t have any control of what happens. Without a plan, it will be up to the courts to decide what happens. This process can take much time and incur several unnecessary fees. We can help you rest easy knowing that your affairs are in order.
Protect Young Children – If you were to pass away unexpectedly or become incapacitated while your children are young, what happens to them? Estate planning provides peace of mind knowing that in the event of the unthinkable, allowing you the opportunity to name a guardian for your young children. Ensure your children are taken care of by a person of your choice instead of leaving it up to the courts.
Minimize Taxation – Protecting your loved ones includes protecting them from the IRS. A sound estate plan will keep taxation in mind and minimize the tax burden that your loved ones incur when you pass on.
Eliminate Mess – Don’t let your loved ones find themselves taking out their feelings on each other. Creating a sound financial estate plan will give your beneficiaries answers to any questions they may have and provide them with space and freedom to grieve instead of a battle over who gets what.
An estate plan is a vital component of a sound financial plan. A financial advisor that focuses on estate plans, like we do, will work on your estate plan throughout your life, ensuring that your assets are protected and growing. A financial estate planner is a key partner that can help you understand the risks and opportunities. There are significant advantages to begin planning your estate early that a financial advisor can help outline, manage and revisit, whether that is a recurring tax-free gifting strategy or establishing tax-efficient trusts. Life is unpredictable, so it's best to make sure you are well prepared.