October 19–25, 2020, is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. The purpose of this annual event is to educate the public about what estate planning is and remind us why it can be so important to our financial wellbeing and to the wellbeing of our families after we’re gone.
According to the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, the purpose of estate planning is to “develop a strategy that will maintain the financial security of individuals through their lifetime and ensure the intended transfer of their property and assets at death, while taking into consideration the unique circumstances of the family and the potential costs of different methods.” 1
Did you catch all that? It’s no wonder that an estimated 56 percent of Americans don’t have an up-to-date estate plan!
In simpler terms, there are a number of important issues that you could address with a properly drafted and executed estate plan:
- Designate who will receive specific assets after your death, including business interests, pieces of real estate, family heirlooms, or other items with special meaning to your family
- Specify when assets will be received, which may be especially important to you if you have children who are minors or are otherwise not capable of managing sudden wealth
- Name the individual(s) who you would entrust to raise your children or handle their finances for them
- Authorize a trusted person to manage your financial matters if you become unable to do so yourself
- Appoint a health care agent to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself
- Help minimize taxes and settlement costs
If you are a business owner, a properly drafted estate plan can also help to ensure your business transfers according to your wishes at your death, disability, or retirement. Whether you plan to gift your business to your children, sell your share to your business partners when you retire, or sell to a third-party buyer or key employee, a plan crafted by your attorney with appropriate legal documentation is instrumental to helping plan for a smooth and effective transition.
If it is important to you to help provide for your family’s future, now is a perfect time to create an estate plan or update your existing plan. An attorney who specializes in estate and business succession can meet with you to discuss a wide range of planning options and help you develop a plan that fits your needs. For more information, ask your Federated marketing representative for a referral to a member of Federated’s network of independent attorneys.
This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered an offer of insurance or legal, financial, tax or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may help reduce, but are not guaranteed to eliminate, any or all losses. The information herein may be subject to, and is not a substitute for, any laws or regulations that may apply. This information is current as of its publication date and is subject to change. Some of the services referenced herein are provided by third parties wholly independent of Federated. Federated provides access to these services with the understanding that neither Federated nor its employees provide legal or other expert advice. All products and services not available in all states. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. All rights reserved.
Published Date:October 19, 2020
Categories: It's Your Life