Estate Planning – Making no assumptions when securing your wealth for the future

A lot of people assume that estate planning is just for wealthy people with large estates or people with large and extended families but in truth, everyone needs an estate plan regardless of how simple or complex their family may be. Estates could include your home, personal property, investments, cars, debts, bank accounts and retirement plans. In essence, it is everything you own when you pass on.

When discussing the issue of estate planning, there are usually varying assumptions. There is an assumption that assets will be peacefully transferred to whoever you wish without family feuds. There is also the assumption that family members are too educated or wealthy to engage in family feuds in the course of sharing inheritances. Sometimes, people fail to plan because they view estate planning as planning for their own demise. While some people understand the benefits of planning and know that they ought to but they simply procrastinate. Others believe that estate planning is too complex and expensive. It is no denying that all of these reasons could be valid. However, the biggest step to effective estate planning is being proactive. Building and maintaining a plan to transfer your assets can give you peace of mind that your assets are transferred in a way that you plan and wish.

A properly executed estate plan will follow your instructions on how you want to take care of both you and your loved ones in the event of a disability or death, as death is not the only reason to have an estate in place; an unexpected or long term disability can also have consequences on financial affairs.

Here are some common mistakes people make while planning their estates:

  • Not having a will:
  • It is imperative that the location of your will be well known, either amongst the family, by a trusted advisor or preferably both. Your will does no good if nobody gets to read it.

  • Not having a living will:
  • Most times, people plan their estates without stating what should be done in the case that they are faced with a life threatening disease or sickness.

  • Not updating your estate plan:
  • Estate plans should be reviewed and updated if necessary. It should be reviewed to incorporate different goals and significant life events such as births, marriages, deaths, divorce, etc.

  • Not designating a Financial/Medical Power of Attorney:
  • Your estate plan should designate someone to handle the financial affairs of your estate if you are unable to manage them by yourself.

    When planning your estate it is important to seek professional advice in order to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of when the time comes. Click here to take that wise step today to seek professional advice from FBN Trustees.

    The FBN Trustees Legacy Series show airs every Monday at 7:00pm on Classic 97.3FM.

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