The primary reason of estate planning is to accomplish the distribution of assets, to whom you wish minimizing taxation. Having a successful estate plan assures your wishes for your heirs. The initial planning process includes taking an inventory of your assets, discussing with trusted advisors, such as attorneys and accountants, your goals for the future.
Below is a brief list of items that should be considered to when taking inventory of your assets:
- Real Estate (home or other real estate ventures)
- Savings (bank accounts, CD’s or money markets
- Investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds)
- 401(k), IRA, pension and other retirements accounts
- Life insurance policies/annuities
- Ownership in a business(es)
- Motor vehicles (cars, boats, planes)
- Other personal property of worth
The planning process is one that takes time and is ever changing. However, most people assume that estate planning is for the wealthy. Your loved ones are at risk of losing all that you have built in your lifetime, without proper planning, you are in danger of the following:
- The transferring of your assets will be decided by the laws that govern your state.
- Court appointed administrators make the decision; where, who and how much of your assets are distributed. As well as receiving expenses for their work and a deduction to the total amount that could be given to your loved ones.
- When children are involved, it could result in a court appointed guardian.
- A family owned business could be sold without the families consent.
- Unnecessary estate taxes can be relinquished and administrative services can be incurred and deducted from your assets.