By now, you’ve probably heard that everyone needs an estate plan. At some point, we all pass away, and we have a duty to ourselves and our loved ones to ensure that we have created a plan that can properly settle our estates when we’re gone. And though some might assume that they simply don’t have enough assets to make planning worth their while, that’s rarely true. If you have any property – real estate, a bank account, a car, or even a stamp collection, then you need some sort of estate plan to sort everything out after your life is over.
Of course, it is also important to recognize that your estate planning is about more than just how your belongings get distributed when you die. A comprehensive estate plan is vital for handling things like Medicaid planning, potential incapacitation, and much more. Proper estate planning should also include financial planning assistance, to ensure that you have a strategy to maximize your finances during life to grown your estate and enjoy the financial security you deserve. It’s not enough to just earn money and make investments; you need to be sure that your finances are protected, properly directed, and perfectly in line with your other estate planning strategies.
Protecting Your Wealth
Asset protection is an important part of financial planning, since it can be difficult to grow wealth when your existing assets are facing unnecessary risk. Sound financial planning requires effective asset protection safeguards to shield your estate from potential lawsuits, unknown creditors, and other threats that could materialize in the future. To accomplish these goals, you can use liability insurance – at levels high enough to safeguard your most vulnerable assets, as well as living trusts and other estate planning tools.
Taxes can also represent a threat to your wealth, so it is important to regularly analyze the tax code to determine whether changes are needed to maintain your estate plan’s protections. A failure to regularly update financial planning strategies can result in unexpected risk, losses, and exposure to greater levels of taxation, so work to schedule an update of your plan at least once a year.
Directing Your Wealth
Idle money is money that can never reach its fully potential. That’s true of all of your assets. To prevent wasted potential, it is important that your wealth be directed into productive avenues of savings and investment. At the same time, however, you should always act with prudence to minimize risk of loss. Early planning is thus the best option, since it is easier to reach your financial goals if you don’t wait until later in life to begin your wealth-building efforts. Early financial planning efforts can enable you to realize greater returns over time, without dramatically increasing your risk of loss.
When done correctly, your financial plan can help you to resolve existing debt concerns, while avoiding future indebtedness that could imperil your financial stability. Your plan will also ensure that your money works for you, which is the most effective way to build substantial wealth over time. At last, you’ll be able to build the type of firm foundation you need to provide for your children’s college, secure your own retirement, and obtain a level of financial security you never dreamed possible.
Aligning Financial Decisions with Estate Planning Strategies
Proper financial planning must involve a comprehensive and coherent strategy to align your financial decisions in a way that enables you to accomplish your broader estate planning goals. For example, if you have retirement plans that affect your estate plan, your financial planning should be designed to align with those strategies. You will need to evaluate your long-term goals and develop a comprehensive strategy that helps you use your financial decisions to reach those objectives.
In most instances, people who need this type of complex assistance don’t start out with large reserves of wealth. Many are in debt, and struggling to figure out how they can get their finances back on track so that their dreams can one day become a reality. Is it easy? Of course not. But without an effective plan, your finances will drift aimlessly, your retirement and other goals will be in jeopardy, and you’ll find it all but impossible to build the type of legacy you want to leave behind for your heirs.
What Does Financial Planning Assistance Look Like?
Financial planning assistance is not some mysterious process that magically transforms your current financial situation into some Utopian paradise. It involves careful evaluation of your current circumstances and goals to see where you are and where you want to be. It also involves the creation of complex strategies to manage debt, savings, investments, and other financial concerns. All of that requires you to make difficult decisions and choices, since everything in our financial lives is a matter of balance.
A competent financial planning attorney will understand the type of assistance that you need to ensure that your financial plan complements your overall estate planning efforts. He or she can walk you through the most relevant strategic choices for your unique circumstances, and help you make choices that facilitate your broader goals and objectives. You might begin with an emphasis on servicing and reducing debt, only to discover that a few years have passed and you’re now more concerned about whether your estate will be subject to the estate tax!
At Fouts Law Group, LLC, our estate planning experts can guide you through every step of the financial planning process to assist you in your efforts to make the most of your financial assets. We can help you with everything from debt reductions strategies to Medicaid planning, retirement concerns, asset protection, and more. And because we know how critical your financial security is to the wellbeing of you and your loved ones, our expert team always goes the extra mile to help you create a plan that perfectly matches your unique needs. If you’d like to learn more about how we can assist you with your financial planning needs, contact us online today or call us at (678) 242-8344.
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