Planning for the transfer of assets at death is a critical element of retirement planning especially if there are survivors who are dependent upon the assets for their financial security. It is very important to help our clients draft a Will and put the necessary Trusts in place to dictate how their assets are to be handled if they are deceased or unable to make these decisions for themselves.
If we do not use Wills and Trusts to help control our clients’ assets, the state will do it for them, at their own pace and likely at significantly more cost to the estate than anyone might expect. The question we ask our clients is this, “Will the state distribute your assets based on your values and wishes, and will they do it in a timely, cost effective manner?”
In reality, the time an estate can spend processing through probate can range from 12-18 months and cost potentially thousands in unexpected administrative fees. More importantly, your beneficiaries will have very limited access to these assets, if any, during the probate process. Larger estates may be confronted with settlement costs and sizable death taxes which could force liquidation if the proper planning is not done.
We encourage our clients work with an estate attorney who is focused on their personal values and desires. Doing this will ensure that assets in the estate are distributed based on personal wishes, and in a more timely and cost effective manner to ease any administrative or financial burdens on family, friends, and loved ones.
Proper estate planning can help plan and coordinate the accumulation, protection, and distribution of assets as you see fit. A proper estate planning team should consist of an estate attorney, a tax professional, in addition to your financial advisor.
For more information on how we can help with estate planning, please contact us today.