Your estate is everything you own, control and have worked for. Whether your estate is large or small, proper estate planning helps avoid problems, protects you and your loved ones, and the things you care about.
Proper estate planning starts with lifetime planning: ensuring that you keep control of your assets while you are healthy, yet appointing someone to step-in and assist you quickly, without subjecting your estate to costly disputes and familial burdens, in the event you are unable to manage your own affairs. It will help ensure that you have the means of paying for your long-term care costs, whether through long-term care insurance or sheltering assets to qualify for MassHealth.
Proper estate planning will help preserve your wealth by minimizing taxes and unnecessary expenses, while providing you the opportunity to leave a legacy for the people you love and the causes you believe in. It will help maintain privacy by keeping your matter out of the probate court, easing the publicity burdens on your family. And if you have minor children, it will be your decision who should serve as their guardian versus the courts.
For those of you that have established an estate plan, you may consider yourself ahead of the game. But how many years ago did you create your estate plan? As tax laws and personal circumstances change, so should your estate plan. Life events, such as marriage, births, deaths, separation/divorce, and relocating will impact your estate planning needs.
In fact, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 into law on January 2, 2013. The law, effective in the 2013 tax year, brings a whole host of new estate tax, income tax, and miscellaneous tax law changes/provisions—all which will have a significant impact on many current estate plans—making the need to update your estate plan more critical than ever.
Everyone has a unique goal for their estate, from planning for their children and successive generations to leaving a legacy to their favorite charity. At Elm Tree Capital, we'll listen closely so we can understand what's important to you and help you plan your estate accordingly.
We'll assist you in completing an Estate Planning Worksheet which will not only help you better understand your estate planning needs, but should also help you get organized and prepare for meetings with your attorney, saving you both time and money.
Elm Tree Capital provides financial planning and investment advisory services with a strong commitment to customer service. If you have questions about any personal financial matters, do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail by clicking here or by calling us at 781.930.3003.