Estate planning can feel intimidating to many people. The idea of organizing all of your finances and assets and deciding how you want to distribute it may seem time-consuming. In addition to the difficulty of the work involved, there are also uncomfortable emotions associated with estate planning.
Thinking about passing away, or becoming incapacitated and unable to make decisions about our lives and our wealth, isn’t fun. This is the number one reason so many people avoid estate planning in the first place!
However, it’s key to change your mindset about building an estate plan. Instead of looking at the process as something you do when you’re in late retirement, start viewing your estate plan as the way you can make an impact on the world around you. Your estate plan extends your wealth beyond just taking care of you and your goals during your lifetime. It allows you to continue to make use of the hard work you’ve put in to build your nest egg for generations to come.
So, what exactly is an estate plan? And what documents do you need to get started?
An estate plan is a collection of legal documents that ensure your health and your money are taken care of according to your wishes. These documents can go into effect either when you pass away, or if you become physically or mentally incapable of communicating your wishes.
Many people think estate planning is only for the elderly, or for the mass affluent. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Estate planning is something that can benefit every legal adult.
You may be wondering what legal documents go into your estate plan. Every individual’s needs are different, but generally, there are five key elements to create a solid foundation for your plan:
Part of creating an exceptional financial plan is ensuring that the plan doesn’t only benefit you during your lifetime. If you need help creating a comprehensive strategy that includes working with an estate planning attorney, please reach out. We’d love to speak with you about your goals.
Wood Smith Advisors, a woman-owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs, and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.
"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.