Estate Planning

HAVING A WELL-ADVISED ESTATE PLAN

Anyone who owns property, a home, a car, a bank account, investments, retirement account, personal belongings, etc. needs an estate plan. An estate plan allows you to direct how and to whom your property should be distributed after your death. If you have no estate plan at all, your property could be distributed according to your state's intestacy laws without regard to family needs, or your desires.

Estate planning is an ongoing process. For a young single person, an estate plan may consist of simply a will. A couple just starting out might have wills, and own a modest home and bank accounts in their joint names. Upon the arrival of children, how to provide for them and for each other in the event of the unexpected death or incapacity of either spouse, will become estate-planning concerns. And, once individuals start to realize their financial goals, asset preservation and avoidance of estate taxes become important factors in estate planning.

The first step in estate planning is building your estate. Having an effective financial plan, i.e. participating in employer sponsored retirement plans, or regularly putting money away for a new home, a child's education, or retirement, are the things we help many of our clients do on a regular basis.

Conserving the assets you have built is another important part of estate planning, and it is one of our primary responsibilities as investment advisors. To protect the value of your assets, we have to plan for unexpected expenses such as prolonged illness, for anticipated but out-of-the-ordinary expenses such as retirement or a child's education as well as for ordinary living expenses, taxes and inflation. These things need to be accounted for, or your estate plan may not accomplish your objectives.

MONITORING YOUR ESTATE PLAN

Consequently, you should be aware of the events that may signal the need for estate plan review and possible revision.

Everyday personal and family changes can make yesterday's well-advised estate plan wholly inadequate today.

These include:

  • Births
  • Deaths
  • Marriages
  • Divorce
  • Tax Law Changes
  • Changes in Estate Composition
  • Business Changes

At WFA, we help you understand the basic concepts involved with estate planning.

PLEASE NOTE: The scope of any financial planning and consulting services to be provided depends upon the request and needs of the client. WFA does not serve as an attorney. WFA does not prepare estate planning documents.