Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not just about money or taxes. Far from it. Today, it's more about protecting your assets for yourself and your loved ones, achieving your financial goals, and safeguarding your health care.
Your "estate plan" is not just about money or assets, and for that matter it is not just about taxation. While it is too easy to focus on taxes, because these are as political as personal, there is far more to consider when making your own estate plan.
No, estate planning is truly an activity of planning for all aspects of your life and for the wellbeing of your loved ones.
A recent article in The Examiner makes the case for estate planning, appropriately titled the "Top 7 reasons you need an estate plan-even if you have only $500 in the bank."
Cutting right to the chase, here are the seven reasons listed in the article:
- Your healthcare
- Avoiding probate
- Avoiding family feuds, knowing that sentimental goods are just as likely to incite a family squabble
- Ensuring your beneficiaries on your retirement accounts are, indeed, your intended heirs
- Ensuring for the care of the kids, and maybe even the grandkids
- Managing complicated assets
- Ensuring for the succession of leadership in your family business
You see, your estate is the sum of the aspects of your life. Your "legal" life touches your "personal" life, touches your "financial" life, touches your "medical" life, and so on and so forth. That is a lot to think about, think through, and plan.
Much of an estate plan involves wrapping your mind around these details to ensure the good of your family and even your own good, later in life. In the end, these considerations are much more important that merely escaping the estate tax or other taxes.