What’s the State of Your Estate Plan? - Adviser Investments

What’s the State of Your Estate Plan?

Young couple having a conversation about their estate plan

It’s National Estate Planning Awareness Week—yes, there is such a thing—yet less than half of all Americans have an estate plan in place. What gives?

One common misconception is that estate planning is only for older or extremely wealthy individuals. We disagree. Here’s why almost anyone reading this needs to get on the estate planning train.

  1. Protect your wishes. The most important reason to put a plan in place is to ensure your wishes for the settlement of your estate are carried out. A will alone is not enough to protect how, when and to whom your assets and possessions are distributed upon your death.
  2. Avoid probate. When no solid estate plan is in place, individual states rely on a probate process to sort things out—and offer varying ways to avoid it. With probate, decisions about all of your assets, all of your belongings and even who would have custody of your minor children could go through a public and potentially lengthy court process where a judge ultimately makes the call. Obviously, this is something to avoid like the plague.
  3. Reduce taxes. Suffice to say, no one likes to pay taxes. Depending on which state you live in, your assets could be taxed at both a federal and state level. A well-crafted estate plan, completed in alignment with your financial plan, can help ensure you don’t pay more to the government than necessary.
  4. Protect yourself and your beneficiaries. An estate plan does more than protect your assets. It allows you to determine guardianship of minor children and clearly establish who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
  5. Get peace of mind. A thorough estate plan should clearly lay out your wishes before you are unable to do so. The goal is to minimize family conflicts down the road while making an emotion-laden process easier.

Even if you are young and single, putting an estate plan in place is a smart move now. Call us to talk through your options.

Tax and legal information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice.  Personalized tax advice and tax return preparation is available through a separate, written engagement agreement with Adviser Investments Tax Solutions. We do not provide legal advice. Always consult a licensed attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

Our statements and opinions are subject to change without notice.  All investments carry risk of loss and there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved.

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