Understanding Estate Planning

Introduction

The old adage, there are only two things that are certain in life, death and taxes. Perhaps so, but we can manage both of these with a good plan and then you can be at peace with your estate.

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging a family estate, or a person’s assets and property or small business final outcomes. This is to be transpired during a person’s life, for the management and distribution of those assets during the person’s life and or after their death. The goal is to minimize gift and estate tax as well as income tax, prevent generation skipping by easing the transfer of wealth. If estate planning is conducted properly, we can manage both death and taxes for the best outcomes for all parties involved.

If you live too long, you will outlive your money.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you lived too long, that you will you outlive your money?

Scary thought to run out of gas on your road trip in life. What happens if we outlive our investment vehicles? There are products like IRA and pension maximization as well as Trust procedures that can prevent such happenings. In addition, such planning can help us in the areas of our wealth being there when we need it while having tax advantages and growth benefits too.

If you live too short, your family gets left behind.

What happens when we live too short, will our investment vehicles be there to help and secure our family?

What needs to take place to help us in this area too, along with the tax and growth benefits. Did you know there are produces such as Second to Die policy and legacy planning that can give you and your family what they need.  We can help you on all of those fronts!

If you are not properly structured, taxes will clean you out.

The answers are in the form of a will or trust. Can you trust a Trust? Yes, if done correctly. And the right one, as there are Charitable Trusts, Revocable Trust, Irrevocable Trust and Asset Protection Trust to name a few. There is even a Special Needs Trust, for children who need extra care into adulthood. There are also Legacy Plans, and Second to Die policy used for inheritance, estate preservation, and a I.L.I.T. irrevocable life insurance trust that can do wonders for your family’s future. It is imperative that you have the right Trust, for the right situation, and it has to be written in the right way, or your wishes will not be carried out. 

Taxes are a reality and a big deal.

Thus, when you set up the right estate trust or living trust you can avoid probate. A Proper Estate plan will enable you to pass on your wealth, including assets and the instruction thereof to the next generation. Such as proper estate plan can prevent unnecessary burdens, stress on your family. One second too late can make a world of difference.

If you get sick, you can lose your money.

Just a heart attack, stroke, or cancer can set you back over $250,000.

Daily non-surgery Hospital costs averaged over $4,000 per day and each noncritical hospital stay cost an average of $16,000. Then there are the surgery costs, critical care, tests and so forth. The cost of cancer drugs can range from as little as $100 a month to as much as $65,000 a month according to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. And health Insurance, even the really good plans will leave you in great debt. Are you covered when your health insurance does not over you? There are products and plans, like Living Benefits that do not cost much that will cover you. If you get sick, you do not have to lose your money!

If you have a business, there are estate tools for you too.

If you do not have them, you or your heirs may face bankruptcy, liquidation, and other problems. If you have the right estate planning tools in place, you can protect your business, pass it on, or sell it. You can even hold on to your people and executives easier too. You can avoid the stress of what happens if a key person leaves your employment? How would you protect your business and family’s legacy? You can with the right tools. Do not place your family at financial risk. Instead, have a strategy and a plan all written out.

Buy-sell agreement and Succession Planning.

These products are tools designed for protecting and preparing the business from the death or retirement of the owner.

You can also have a “buy-sell agreement” a plan to pass it on to the next generation, or merge with another like business or close down. Thus, a strategy must be in place for tax purposes and to avoid bankruptcy. This has to be done correctly or there will be overwhelming taxes to the point the business will not survive. You can also set up employee stock ownership plan to become majority shareholders and many other tools too. No plan, then you are at risk as equity is uncertain as there will be liabilities. Or better put money into a product like an IUL plan, then money is not at risk. Then the cash value can be purchased at a later date even if the company goes under giving you Estate Equity. 

Now you have some information on why estate planning is so important. If you do not want to outlive your money and you want your assets to be properly managed and preserved during your lifetime and how you want them distributed after your death, you have to have planned. If you want a simple, tax-efficient, and organized transfer of your assets to loved ones, then you need to have the right products and plans in place.

We can help you on all of those fronts!

Dr. Richard Krejcir is a licensed and experienced Financial Consultant with over thirty years of experience. He has worked for major banks, insurance companies, nonprofits, and families too. He is also an author, pastor, Special Ed Teacher, and financial blogger and holds a doctorate in Stewardship.

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