It seems like many people devote more time to planning a vacation, choosing a car to buy, or even selecting a spot to eat dinner than they do to estate planning—deciding who will inherit their assets after they’re gone. It may not be as fun to think about as booking a trip or checking out restaurant reviews, but without estate planning, you can’t choose who gets everything that you worked so hard for.
Estate planning is the preparation of tasks that serve to manage an individual’s asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death. The planning includes the bequest of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes.
The primary purpose of an estate plan is to help you examine your financial needs and assets in order to make sure that your heirs are provided for in the best possible way, including lifetime planning as well as disposition of property at death.
If you want your assets and your loved ones protected when you can no longer do it, you will need an estate plan. Without one your heirs could face big tax burdens and the courts could designate how your assets are divided—and even who gets to raise your children.