A question that comes up fairly often is, “Do I need an estate plan?” In today’s DueNorth Insight, we’re going to take a look at that question and ask a few follow up questions. The first question I have is, are you going to die? And I’m pretty sure for all of us, that answer is yes. In that case, you need an estate plan.
The next question, “What kind of estate plan do I need?” is a bit more complicated. Some of the questions that you need to be able to ask and be able to answer is, do you have multiple properties, do you have children, do you have special requests with where you want your assets to go? Depending on how you answer those questions is going to depend on what type of estate plan you need.
Do you need a will? Keep it simple. Get stuff done. Have a spot to make sure who gets what, and when, is answered.
Or, do you need a trust? To help keep it out of probate. To help protect your children. To help pass on assets and keep it a much more efficient process. All of those are going to be dependent on the first questions.
As you get older, and as your assets grow, you’re probably going to want a more complicated estate plan. Usually that means, and comes in the form of, a trust. But if we’re just looking for the bare minimum, and you’re just getting started in life, and we only have a little bit of assets but we want to make sure we keep it simple in the event of a tragedy, a will will most likely accomplish what you need.
In any event, the best place to start is with the advisor you’re working with. They know your situation, they know what you’re looking to do. And they can help guide you through that process, and work with an attorney to get that estate plan in place. Because the question isn’t, “Do I need an estate plan?” it’s, “What type of estate plan do I need?”
And that’s today’s DueNorth Insight.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.