Why Everyone Needs to Do Estate Planning

A key part of a wealth strategy is to protect the wealth you build. Estate planning plays an important role in protecting your wealth by making sure your wealth is distributed in the way you want after your death.
What better way to protect your wealth than to be in control of it – even after you are no longer living.
Even with all these great benefits of estate planning, it often gets pushed to the back burner. This happens most often due to bad information.
That bad information is this: I do not need to do estate planning right now because my estate is not taxable.
Many countries have an estate tax that is levied against the value of your assets after your death. Most countries have a threshold that if an estate falls under that threshold, it is not subject to estate tax.
Many people think they don’t need to do estate planning if their estate is under that threshold.
This is not true! While it’s true their estate may not be in urgent need of estate tax planning (although estate tax planning is best done when the value of your estate is low), there is still a need for basic estate planning.
Estate planning is not just about the estate tax. In fact, some of the most important reasons to do estate planning have nothing to do with estate tax.
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Here are just a few reasons why estate planning applies to just about everyone – regardless of their income, wealth or age.
Protect Your Wealth
As I mentioned, estate planning is an absolute necessity in order for you to dictate how your wealth is distributed after your death. Without this in place, the law will make that decision for you. This is a powerful way to protect the wealth you build.
Protect Your Health
Proper estate planning is not just about what happens after your death, it also addresses what happens in the event you are unable to make your own decisions – this includes medical decisions.
Addressing what medical treatments you do or don’t want while you are able to make and communicate these decisions is crucial. Part of proper estate planning includes discussing your decisions with your physician and your family.
Protect Your Family
As I mentioned above, a big part of the basics of estate planning is addressing what happens if you become incapacitated.
Think about this: If you became incapacitated tomorrow:
  • Would your mortgage be paid on time?
  • Would your bills be paid on time?
  • Would your family be able to maintain the lifestyle they are accustomed to during your incapacitation?
Proper estate planning addresses not only what happens with your wealth after your death, but also how your wealth is managed during any period of incapacitation. Planning for this in advance as part of your basic estate plan is a wonderful way to take care of your family. It’s also an effective way to protect your wealth.
No Estate Tax Doesn’t Mean No Estate Plan
Remember, just because you don’t have an estate tax issue doesn’t mean you don’t need estate planning now. Some of the most important reasons to do estate planning have nothing to do with estate tax.
To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any US federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. If you are not the original addressee of this communication, you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

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