Estate planning is the strategic process of arranging for the management and distribution of your assets and wealth, both during your lifetime and after your passing. It's a comprehensive approach to safeguarding your financial and personal interests and ensuring your loved ones are provided for in the manner you desire.
The key components of an estate plan include legal documents such as a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, HIPAA Authorization, Last Will, Living Trust, and updated beneficiary designations on insurance, annuities, and retirement accounts. Estate planning can also involve planning for various federal and state taxes, including income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
A properly done estate plan offers numerous benefits. Careful planning can safeguard your wealth from unexpected events or creditors. It can reduce the risk of family disputes. It can protect your privacy and that of your beneficiaries. Most importantly, it can provide peace of mind—knowing that when the time comes, your affairs are in order and you can leave a lasting impact by benefitting the people and supporting the causes and organizations that matter to you.