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Wealth Management: Estate Planning

I know I should do estate planning, but every time I start I just get confused!

The issue: Estate planning is confusing. You have to decide what you want to have happen to your stuff. You have to decide whether you want to pass assets while you’re alive or when you’re dead. You have to decide who you want to give your stuff to. You have to decide even if you want to give stuff to anyone….after all, you’re never going to die.

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Your Story: You think you should start thinking about what happens to your estate. You might have small children or your might have accumulated a lot of assets that you don’t want the government to get.

You know you should do some serious planning, but you’ve never gotten around to doing any. It might be because you don’t want to think about dying. It might be the cost is too much or you might just never have taken the time.

You could have a simple estate plan when you need a complicated one or you could be part of the 50% of the country who have never put a will together. You certainly don’t talk about your estate plan with those involved. You’re afraid of what they might do if they know how much you have.

You think there is too much jargon that you don’t understand. You don’t know how to trust or why you should trust anyone. Everyone seems to have an agenda that supports how they make a living. You really wish someone would help and simplify the whole process in a way you can understand.

Challenges you might have...

Problems:

  • I don't want to make plans for when I die.
  • I don't know if I can afford to give things away today even though I know it's the "right" thing to do. 
  • I've been told that I need to have a durable power of attorney and a health care proxy. I don't like the sound of it and don't really know what it is. 
  • What about asset protection? I'm more than a little worried about having what I've worked for taken through a frivolous lawsuit. 
  • The whole process is just too daunting. I don't want to give things away and then find out that I'm sorry I did it. 

Solutions:

  • You need to get over this. Over 50% of the coutry doesn't even have a will, much less any advanced planning that comes with a good estate plan. 
  • You should spend some time understanding why you want to do estate planning. You want to share your reasons with those you love. 
  • Deciding how you want to live if you want to live is an important decision. Don't wait until you need a decision made. Talk about your decisions with your loved ones. 
  • Asset protection becomes more important when you have something to lose and a job that allows people to pierce a corporate value. Talking with a good attorney can help in your decision. 
  • Grantors remorse is a real thing. The process is complicated. Find an advisor you can trust who will guide you and help you through the giving process. 
Report on the basics of estate planning