Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning

You work hard, save hard and invest hard to create assets and achieve your financial goals. However, the assets that you have created could fail to accomplish your goals if it is lost or poorly used due to your death or disability.

Estate Planning is the process of accumulating and disposing of an estate by you that will satisfy your specific goals and wishes. Estate means all the assets you own or have control of. This is regardless of whether the assets are solely owned by you or are managed in a partnership. This may include real estate, bank accounts, bonds and stocks, cash, businesses and establishments, jewellery, collections and even retirement benefits. Estate planning is about making sure that your estate passes on to your intended beneficiaries, as smoothly as possible, after your death.

Estate Planning is in fact a part of 'Financial Planning'. It is a process, not a product. This process is as much legal as financial and involves (a) collect all the documents on assets and details on beneficiaries (b) analyze the ownership of assets in terms of nominations, assignments, co-ownership, joint-ownership etc  (c) allot the assets among beneficiaries (d) create legal documents such as will, trust deed, power of attorney etc., specifying the allotment and (e) get the documents signed, witnessed, notarized and registered as required by law.

The outcome of Estate Planning process is 'Estate Plan' document. This document lays out the details on who gets what assets, and specifies on how to set things up in a way that minimizes taxes in transfer of assets to them. It includes all information on assets, beneficiaries and legal documents created as part of the process.

Why should you have an Estate Plan?

Estate Plan enables you to leave your legacy for the living people. A few but not all benefits are:

  • You will know who are the nominees, assignees, co-owners, joint owners for all your current assets.
  • You will decide and write a will specifying who gets what share of your assets after your death. The beneficiaries could be your family members, relatives, friends, pets, charities etc.
  • You will eliminate all the hassles of the law having to distribute your assets to the legal heirs if you die intestate, that is without leaving behind a will.
  • You may consider setting up a trust to stipulate how and when the beneficiaries will receive their share of assets or income from assets.
  • You may create Power of Attorney and appoint someone whom you trust to take care of your financial matters in case you become physically or mentally incapacitated.

What Estate Planning is not?

Here are few things that Estate Planning is not:

  • Estate Planning is not just for old people. It is for everyone.
  • Estate Planning is not just for rich and famous people.  It is for common people too.
  • Estate Planning is not just for joint families. It is for nuclear families too.
  • Estate Planning is not just for your post-death situations.  It is for your pre-death, disabled situations too.

How can we help you?

We are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERs and we have a professional service called 'Estate Planning'. Although, this is a part of our 'Financial Planning' service, we also offer it as a stand-alone service. This is a fee-based service using which we can engage you, consult lawyers, design and deliver an Estate Plan to you. We can also help you in reviewing it as and when there are major changes in your life such as child birth, divorce, new assets etc. and also to comply with ever changing estate laws.

    Please contact us should you like to avail our service.

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