You’ve heard of estate planning but probably think it’s a thing for the filthy rich. Not so. If you are keen on safeguarding your financial security and ensuring that your assets are managed according to your wishes, estate planning is for you. We explore why estate planning matters and how an accountant can help in this post.
What is estate planning and why is it important?
Estate planning involves making critical decisions and legal arrangements that cover your financial and personal life. An estate plan includes documents such as a will, trust, health care proxy, financial power of attorney, and life insurance.
It lets you decide how your assets will be distributed among your beneficiaries upon passing.
Without an estate plan, state laws will dictate how your assets will be distributed, and your wealth could go where you don’t want it to go.
Estate planning also includes instructions on healthcare and financial decisions for when you become incapacitated. It can also ensure that you have income replacement if you cannot work due to illness.
How an accountant can help in estate planning
Accountants, especially CPAs, are experts in tax matters and can help you save on taxes. They have the expertise to craft strategies that minimize or even avoid estate taxes. This ensures that the bulk of your wealth can go to your heirs without being eaten by taxes.
Accountants can accurately inventory your assets, including real estate properties, vehicles, savings accounts, and stock market investments. They take into account depreciation and taxes to give you an accurate picture of your estate. Thus, you can ensure your assets are distributed fairly among beneficiaries.
Planning for the future
If you have a modest estate, it could become significant in the future. Accountants can use their deep financial knowledge to predict the future value of your estate. This enables you to plan ahead and make the right decisions when modifying your estate plan.
Estate planning isn’t only relevant after your passing; it is important while you are still living. For example, a trust enables you to arrange for potential adversities such as disability or mental incapacitation. You can choose someone you trust, giving you control over your finances.
When the time comes, accountants can assist your executor or trustee in effectively managing and distributing your estate, ensuring all financial obligations are met.
Start your estate planning journey now with the help of an expert accountant
As you can see, you should never underestimate the importance of estate planning or postpone planning one. However, you need a well-drafted estate plan that aligns with your current situation, goals, and wishes.
Call us today, and let us help you create an estate plan that assures your financial safety when you are alive and protects your family after your passing.