In its simplest definition, estate planning is making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own (your car, home, real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions etc…) after you die. Of course life is not that simple and neither is estate planning. We at Summit Investment Advisors believe that having more than just a simple plan in place can save your heirs time, grief and a lot of money. Some of things we review with you when putting together your plan:
- Your wishes for passing on your values (religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables.
- Your wishes for your care if you become disabled before you die.
- We help you identify a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children.
- We discuss and review the possibility of providing for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits.
- Your wishes for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce.
- Discuss life insurance to provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury.
- Plan for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death.
- Options for minimizing taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees.
Above all else, and what we believe truly makes us different is our belief that estate planning is an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. We maintain a strong conviction that your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situations (and laws) change over your lifetime. At a minimum it’s a factor we discuss with you during our year-end review. We believe it’s one of the most effective principles of our approach and in turn one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for yourself and for those you love.