Don’t have enough assets for an estate plan? Think Again!

 In Financial Planning, Ozarks Live, Retirement, Tips

Don’t have enough assets for an estate plan? Think Again!

The cost of NOT having an estate plan may outweigh the costs of making an estate plan.  Without a plan your estate will go thru the public probate court.  Costs will include:

  • Court fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Accounting and appraisal fees
  • Fees paid to estate’s executor
  • Publication fees

It is common for people to put off planning for their estate for many reasons. They don’t know where to start, who to talk to, and afraid the cost will be outrageously high. These are all valid thoughts and can be quite intimidating, but the bottom line is, if you want your assets and your loved ones protected when you no longer can do it, you will need an estate plan. Without one, your heirs could face huge burdens and the courts could designate how your assets are divided, or even who gets your children. Choosing to plan can help to ease your uncertainty with family, children, assets, and things like that.

This brings us to why estate planning is so important. It is a very important part of family planning and could prevent your assets from ending up with beneficiaries that you don’t want. Lets look at specifically four reasons why it’s so important:

4 Reasons Estate Planning is so Important

It prevents your assets from ending up with unintended beneficiaries:

Without an estate plan set in place, everything will be decided by the court. This is a something that can take a very long time, and is the farthest thing from a smooth process. The court is not knowledgeable to which sibling is most responsible, or was the most involved. Without a specific plan from you, there is no way for the court to know the personal relationships with your children, and no way for them to know who should be taking over your assets.

It protects families with young children:

This is a hard thing to think about, nobody expects to die young. Well, your kids don’t expect that either, so it’s important to have a plan with what will happen to them if the unthinkable happens and they are under the age of 18 years old. Naming guardians for your children is the only way to make sure your children will be taken care of in a manner that you approve of. This is much more than determining who will get to keep your jewelry or home, this is determining who will raise your children if you can’t do it. This is something that you don’t want to be left up to court to decide.

Protection from overpaying taxes:

Your estate will have to pay taxes when you pass away, the net value is higher than the exempt amount set by congress for that year. These taxes are expensive, must be paid in cash, and usually end up requiring assets to be liquidated to pay for them due to an estate not having enough cash. Some states have both a Estate and Inheritance tax, and some states do not. Missouri has neither an Estate tax or an Inheritance tax.  One way to reduce or eliminate your Estate taxes, is to remove assets from your estate before you die. You want to start transferring assets to your heirs while keeping the smallest tax burden for them as possible. This is doable when you have a plan, and have researched and read over popular strategies that people use regularly to remove assets from their estate.

Eliminates family messes when you’re gone:

Time and time again we hear horror stories of family members feuding over money, what belongs to who, and so on after someone dies. Some feel entitled thinking they should get everything, or should be the one in charge and it causes many problems between the entire family. Most of the time without a plan set into place with specific instructions on how you want things to be handled, it will end up in court and have the entire family pitted against each other. When this happens, a significant amount of money is put towards legal fees, and before you know it your estate has gone to waste. This is why it is so necessary to have an Estate Plan. It is the only way for you to be in control and ensuring your assets will be handled the way you want them to.

If you take away one thing from this, think of your family and what you are leaving behind. Don’t let your decisions be left up to the court, take initiative and get these things figured out even though it is not the happiest thing to think about. By making an Estate Plan, you’re protecting not only your future, but your loved ones futures as well.  At The Resource Center we have partnered with a local attorney who is a member of the Personal Family Lawyers.  Together we have created a step-by-step process to easily form an Estate Plan with your goals in mind, covering all of the necessary documents.  To setup a Family Wealth Planning session call today to make an apt, Or register for our upcoming informational meeting on July 17, 2018 417-882-1800.

Sources: 

https://www.estateplanning.com/Understanding-Estate-Taxes/

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/wealth-management/122915/4-reasons-estate-planning-so-important.asp

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The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.   

We are not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, tax or legal advice.  Individuals are encouraged to consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions about their personal situation.  Our firm is not affiliated with the U. S. government or any governmental agency.  Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM).  AEWM and The Resource Center are not affiliated companies.  AW06183357

 

 

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