Estate planning has been called “the fraternal twin of financial planning.” A financial plan devises a strategy of accumulating wealth and preparing for retirement, long life, ill health, college educations for children, and so on. An estate plan determines the best means of disposing of the accumulated wealth and for supporting loved ones after you die.
A recent New York Times article entitled: “Estate Planning Step 1: Recognize You Are Going To Die” is a useful reminder of why an estate plan is part of sound financial planning. The article confirms that the first step in working on an estate plan is to accept that you are going to die at some point. The article is excellent in explaining how estate planning is a process since you can only plan with what you have at the moment or for the children or grandchildren or wife/husband you have at the moment. You need to keep things under periodic review.
You also need to ask yourself some questions: Will a trust help you ensure that your children do not inherit money in one lump sum or avoid tax liability? Do you want to leave more to one adult child than another? Do you want there to be asset protection for your spouse? Are you an American residing overseas or with property overseas? Do those countries have forced-heirship laws? What are the advantages to avoiding probate? There are a lot of questions that an estate planner can help you assess as part of your financial and estate planning and these are just the tip of an iceberg. It is also important to assess each family's unique circumstances and financial situation.
Posted by Henry (Hank) J. Moravec, III, a partner at Moravec, Varga & Mooney. For a complimentary 30 minute consultation (telephonic or in person), you can e-mail Hank Moravec at email@example.com or call him at (626) 793-3210 or (818) 769-4221.
He focuses his practice on Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Administration, Beneficiary and Trustee Representation, Probate Litigation, Tax Law, and Nonprofit Law. He represents clients throughout Southern California and his offices are conveniently located for clients in the Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
The San Gabriel Valley office is located at 2233 Huntington Drive, Suite 17, San Marino, California 91108. Telephone: (626) 793-3210.