Estate planning allows individuals, at any stage in life, to put a plan in place for what will happen to their assets in the event they become incapacitated or die. Most estate plans are set up with the help of a professional who is experienced in estate law in order to ensure that you are properly planning for your estate. Some of the major estate planning tasks that should be addressed include:
Creating a will
Limiting estate taxes by setting up trust accounts
Establishing a guardian for living dependents
Naming an estate executor
Creating/updating beneficiaries on plans such as life insurance
Setting up funeral arrangements
Setting up power of attorney
4 Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan
Four of the main reasons why you need a proper estate plan include:
1. Choosing the Right Beneficiaries
One of the main components of estate planning is choosing beneficiaries for your assets. Without an estate plan, the courts will often decide who gets your assets, a process that can sometimes take years. Choosing your own beneficiaries will allow you to have control over who receives your property when you pass away, preventing undue stress for family members.
2. Protecting Beneficiaries
Estate planning can be a great way to protect beneficiaries who are still minors by appointing them with a guardian, as well as protecting adult beneficiaries from bad decisions, outside influences, creditor problems, and divorcing spouses. This can also help prevent potential family discord and costly legal expenses.
3. Reducing Estate Taxes
An essential part of estate planning is transferring assets to beneficiaries in a way that will create the smallest tax burden for them as possible. Even with just a little bit of estate planning, you will be able to reduce much or even all of the federal and provincial estate taxes, which can get very pricey for some.
4. Eliminating Family Conflict
More often than not, estates that are left without assigned beneficiaries can lead to family conflicts and long-drawn-out court battles with family members pitted against each other. Choosing who will have control over your finances and assets, if you become mentally incapacitated or after you die, can go a long way towards quelling any family strife, while also ensuring that your assets are handled the way you intended them to be.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of estate planning, or if you are interested in one of our services, please contact Leskun & Son Accounting at 1-877-826-1219 or by filling out a contact form on our website. We are proud to offer a wide range of accounting services, including tax services, bookkeeping, and business consulting, to businesses throughout Langley, Mission, and Abbotsford.