It's never too early to begin thinking about your legacy or to shape your estate plan. Contrary to what many people think, you don't need to be a millionaire to have an estate plan. An estate plan is an important part of any ongoing financial planning process.
Your life, your dreams, your legacy
Your legacy encompasses your values. You might desire to use your assets to help secure your family's future or you may choose to support another cause close to your heart. Such as; your favorite charity, your community, or your place of worship, to name a few.
Elements of an estate plan
- A will lets you specify your wishes, including how you want your property distributed, who will administer your estate and who will care for your minor children.
- A trust holds your assets for the benefit of one or more people (you, your spouse, children). You'll need an attorney's assistance to create a trust.
- Life insurance proceeds are paid to a beneficiary at your death.
- Gifts are transfers of property made during your life to family, friends or charity.
- Tax exclusions are available as important estate planning tools. Consult your tax professional for details.
Preparing to plan your estate Designing a legacy consistent with your dreams and values is a personal, often complex process. But it's well worth the effort. Consider setting up a family estate planning meeting to help improve communication, prevent conflicts and let your family know what's important to you. After giving some thought to your wishes, including the needs of family members you want to provide for, seek the professional guidance and estate planning advice you need from your attorney, tax professional and financial advisor. To help you estimate the value of your estate, you'll need to take into consideration:
- Current income and likely future income
- Annual expenses
- Current assets and debts
- Tax implications of federal transfer taxes, state death taxes and federal income taxes Revisit your estate plan regularly Just like your financial plan, it's important to review your will and other estate planning documents regularly, or when significant life events occur.
San Gabriel Capital can help you create a financial plan that includes estate planning strategies designed to help you reflect the things that are important to you.