Does the average person have an “estate”? And is estate planning something I need to consider if I’m still years before retiring? At Focus Financial, we understand that there are many questions concerning estate planning, and our goal is to help you find the right information, resources, and tools to make the best decisions possible for your future—no matter your age or future goals.
What Is Estate Planning?
Think of estate planning as creating instructions for what happens to your assets if you become incapacitated or pass away. The words “estate” and “assets” sound like fancy terms to some people and you might not think it applies to your own situation. But such terms relate to items you have in name, including your house, car, savings, life insurance policy, and even debt. If you have children under the age of 18, estate planning includes establishing guardianship for them, as well.
Estate planning is particularly important if you’re a small business owner, as you’ll need to account for items that include business ownership, business leadership, potential sale of the business, and more.
What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?
Some essential documents that you’ll need to begin with include:
- Your Will
- Advance Directive – this documents the type of medical care you wish to receive
- Durable Financial Power of Attorney – this helps dictate who will make financial decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to do it yourself.
There are several essential tasks involved in estate planning, such as establishing an executor (i.e., the person who ensures your directions are followed), setting up trusts for your children, making funeral arrangements, and taking care of estate taxes.
How Much Does Estate Planning Cost?
The cost of estate planning can vary based on the complexity of your needs. A single person with no children, a house, and no debt will be a much simpler estate than a married couple who has children from multiple marriages, owns a business, and has many investments.
A basic will can cost in the lower hundreds, whether you purchase a do-it-yourself version or hire a lawyer. More complex estates can go into the thousands when preparing multiple documents. Attorney costs are also based on their level of expertise.
What is the Purpose of Estate Planning?
It may seem like it’s not worth the time and money to establish plans, especially if you’re young or have no kids. However, the purpose of an estate plan is to avoid any confusion over your assets when you’re unable to take care of them. This avoids a hassle for your family, especially during a difficult time when emotional distress is high.
Ready to Get Started?
At Focus Financial, we understand it’s not always easy to discuss estate planning, but we want you to feel comfortable thinking about who you want to take over your investments. Whether you are an individual or business owner, it helps to find an experienced financial advisor who understands your situation and helps you ensure your family members are taken care of.
To learn more about our services, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!