Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of preparing for the future management and distribution of a person’s estate – all the assets and liabilities they have – in the event of their death or inability to make decisions.

Plan For Your Goals Service Areas

  • Business succession planning
  • Federal estate tax planning/analysis
  • Funding of trusts/re-titling of assets
  • Trust distributions
  • Gift planning
  • Recommendation/curation of Estate Attorneys
  • Review bequest planning
  • Review potential trust options
  • State estate tax planning/analysis
  • Surviving spouse analysis after the death of a spouse

Guidance on creating and reviewing:

  • Beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries
  • for assets
  • Advance directive
  • Healthcare proxy
  • Power of attorney
  • Will
  • Pre-nuptial agreements

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of deciding what will happen to a person’s assets – all the things they owned at the time of their death – in case they die or lose the ability to manage them. It involves planning how to preserve, manage, and distribute the assets after death or incapacity. Estate planning also includes the bequest of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes and debts, along with other considerations like the guardianship of minors and pets.

Estate planning is important because it can help you avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, protect your beneficiaries, and provide for your loved ones. Estate planning can also give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected and carried out.

Some of the essential estate planning documents are:

  • A will, which states how you want your property to be distributed after your death.
  • A durable power of attorney, which authorizes someone to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters if you become incapacitated.
  • A health care proxy, which appoints someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
  • A living will, which expresses your preferences for end-of-life care.
  • A trust, which is a legal entity that holds and manages assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

Why Do I Need Estate Planning?

You need estate planning because it can help you:

  • Ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death.
  • Avoid or reduce the costs and delays of probate, which is the legal process of validating and executing your will.
  • Minimize the taxes and fees that may be imposed on your estate and your beneficiaries.
  • Protect your assets from creditors, lawsuits, or other claims that may arise against your estate.
  • Provide for the care and support of your dependents, such as your spouse, children, grandchildren, or pets.
  • Plan for your own incapacity or disability, by appointing someone to manage your financial and medical affairs if you are unable to do so.
  • Express your personal values and preferences, such as your charitable or religious beliefs, your end-of-life care, or your funeral arrangements.

Estate planning is not only for the wealthy or the elderly. It is for anyone who wants to have control over their own affairs and legacy. Estate planning can also give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected and carried out.

How Will Plan For Your Goals Help Me With Estate Planning?

David can help you with estate planning in several ways:

  • Help you create and execute a financial plan that aligns with your estate planning goals, such as preserving and growing your wealth, minimizing taxes, and providing for your beneficiaries.
  • Work with estate planning professionals, such as attorneys, to coordinate tax and legal matters related to your estate plan.
  • Educate and empower you to make critical decisions and finalize your estate plan, such as choosing an executor, a trustee, a health care proxy, and a guardian for your minor children or pets.
  • Review and update your estate plan regularly to reflect any changes in your life, such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, or inheritance.

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

The main difference between a will and a trust is that a will only takes effect after you die, while a trust can be used to manage your assets during your lifetime and after your death. A will is a legal document that directs how you want your property to be distributed after your death, and it must go through a court process called probate. A trust is a legal entity that holds and manages assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries, and it can avoid probate and provide more control and privacy over your estate.

Some of the advantages of a will are:

  • It is relatively simple and inexpensive to create.
  • It allows you to name guardians for your minor children and pets.
  • It can be changed or revoked at any time before your death.

Some of the disadvantages of a will are:

  • It does not protect your assets from creditors, lawsuits, or taxes.
  • It does not allow you to plan for your incapacity or disability.
  • It becomes a public record after your death and may be contested by heirs or creditors.

Some of the advantages of a trust are:

  • It can protect your assets from creditors, lawsuits, or taxes.
  • It can allow you to plan for your incapacity or disability by appointing a successor trustee.
  • It can provide more flexibility and customization for your estate plan.
  • It can keep your estate private and confidential.

Some of the disadvantages of a trust are:

  • It is more complex and expensive to create and maintain.
  • It requires you to transfer title of your assets to the trust.
  • It may not cover all of your assets unless you have a pour-over will.

Depending on your situation and goals, you may need both a will and a trust, or just one of them. You should consult with your financial advisor, an estate planning professional, or an attorney who can help you decide what is best for you. You may also want to check out some of the estate planning services that are available online.

Simple Path to Improve Your Financial Condition

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Step 1:

Select a Consultation Service

My services are designed to be flexible and meet your needs. Whether you're looking for a basic evaluation, help with a key area of your finances, or comprehensive financial planning, you'll find it here.

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Step 2:

Understand Your Real Financial Condition

Working together we will determine your financial needs. We’ll assess what is effective or problematic, and what is hindering your progress. With a clear understanding of your financial condition, you can make smarter choices.

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Step 3:

Plan a Better Future

Getting the knowledge and guidance you need from a financial professional is an investment in your security and hope for the future. And it’s not just for you, but for the people who depend on you.

David Roberts - Financial Planner and Advisor of Plan For Your Goals

David Roberts, Owner: Plan For Your Goals

You Deserve a Better Future

Affordable financial advice with flexible options that fit into your tight schedule can be difficult to find. That's why so many people struggle to make smart money decisions. At Plan For Your Goals my clients get the financial planning, coaching, and resources they need to make better decisions and plan a better future.