Why you must have an estate plan now — Even if you don’t have an estate.
No one can predict the future, but one thing is sure: If we leave unanswered questions about how to settle our affairs, life for those we love could be even more difficult — That’s why answering questions now, and formalizing them in an estate plan is an important step that shouldn’t wait.
What exactly is an estate plan? An estate plan is a collection of documents that specify how you want your money and other assets distributed, making it easier for loved ones to handle your affairs during a time of grief.
Your estate includes everything you own or anything you could have an interest in — investments: such as individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds and retirement accounts, your home and other real estate, business interests, and personal property. It also includes assets that you may not typically think of, such as life insurance policies, certain annuities, certain trusts, and joint accounts you own with your spouse or someone else.
give your heirs faster access to your assets and manage or minimize the probate process by titling assets properly and naming beneficiaries.
In many instances, the use of a corporate trustee can be extremely valuable — Even if family members or friends are able to manage the complexities of a trust, you may not want to burden them with the considerable time and tasks involved. A corporate trustee can offer the expertise, objectivity, integrity, and time necessary for managing trust responsibilities.