WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
What comes to mind when you hear the term “estate planning”? A sprawling field full of waving grain as far as the eye can see, framed by mountains on the west and lit by sunshine on a field of flowers, surrounding a huge white house with six columns and a wrap-around front porch?
Believe it or not, you have an estate. An estate for financial planning purposes is all the money and property owned by a particular person or, in essence, your net worth. This includes your bank accounts, car, all material possessions, and your home. Also included in your estate is any intellectual property such as song licenses or copyrights and patents.
Your estate is also everything you owe. Student loans, mortgages, and credit card debt are just a sampling of possible debt you may have.
ESTATE PLANNING BASICS
Estate planning is the common name for planning for what will happen to your estate (everything you own and owe) upon your death. Estate planning also entails medical decisions, power of attorneys, and wills and trusts. At Resolved Financial Solutions, our caring team is here to answer all of your questions about estate planning basics and help you get all the pieces into place.
Last will and testament
A will is your chance to lay out what you want to happen to your estate when you pass. You specify who gets what, what happens to your body after death, who gets custody of your children if you have minors, and which charities you want to support. You choose an executor to ensure this process is carried out. This is the most important piece of your estate planning.
A living will
A living will expresses your wishes if you’re incapacitated and can’t verbally speak your wishes if you are still alive. It mainly pertains to healthcare issues.
Power of attorney
There are various types of powers of attorney. Some are overarching and general, but more likely, a power of attorney is specific to one area such as financial powers of attorneys and healthcare powers of attorney. All powers of attorney name a person to make decisions for you instead of having your wishes laid out ahead of time. Powers of attorney are more popular because they are much more flexible since none of us can predict specific circumstances in the future.
A trust allows you dictate where your money goes and to who without having to go through probate. This allows your heirs more immediate access to their inheritance, which can be crucial especially if you have little kids.
Resolved Financial Solutions is dedicated to helping you navigate the often-confusing field of estate planning. Having a plan in place for when you die brings an almost-indescribable sense of peace in your retirement years. You want to spend time on the golf course or visiting loved ones or just enjoying a good cup of coffee and a book instead of having to worry about what will happen upon your death.
Resolved Financial Solutions understands that decisions about your estate are not easy and that they take time. Make an appointment today with one of our compassionate team members to help you get the process started. We’ll listen to your unique situation, lay out all of your options, and give you all the resources you need to begin the estate planning process. Resolved Financial Solutions is here to help with any questions you may have with all of your financial planning needs. Contact us today!