There are a number of companies that offer estate planning services but the key is to find the right one to suit the complexity of your needs and your situation.
As a rule, a company offering such services will provide basic advice which includes the preparation of trusts and wills, powers of attorney and medical directives. Whichever company you select, you’ll find that most draft a wide range of complex trusts with various needs.
The company that you chose to handle your affairs is there to offer you valuable advice and to help you leave your estate in accordance with your wishes and also to ensure that the maximum tax advantages are available to you.
If your actual estate is not complex or if you have yet to carry out any form of Estate planning services, then your provider can introduce a basic plan that effectively addresses distribution of all assets and if required, the guardianship of your children.
Once your provider has briefed you with the relevant advice, they’ll identify your financial position and personal goals. They will assist you by establishing the most appropriate tools that will help you meet your objectives, including all use of trusts and wills, the re-titling of assets, as well as lifetime gifting or the powers of attorney. As part of their service to you, they’ll prepare and produce all the necessary documents to put your estate plan in place.
If your financial situation and goals go beyond the needs for basic estate planning, then you might be better served seeking intermediate advice and an estate plan. This includes more complex strategies that include ‘trust preparation’, ‘education planning’, ‘life insurance planning’, ‘pre-nuptial planning’, ‘retirement planning’ and ‘gifting to minors’.
If you require more complex estates or estate planning needs then you will most likely need advanced services. Your provider will help you direct your gifts for educational and/or medical requirements and will also address tax payment issues and liquidity.
Some of the services included as part of this level of planning include ‘second generation planning’, ‘charitable planning’, ‘succession planning for closely held businesses’, ‘gifting strategies’ and ‘advice on how to use the estate freezing tool’.
No matter how small or large your requirements are, there’s simply no understating the importance of establishing an estate plan. Whether you’re wealth is astronomical or you’re squeezing through the working week from pay cheque to pay cheque, it’s imperative that you have a basic estate plan in order. By doing this, you’ll be certain that your financial goals are reached following your passing. This will ensure all debts are paid and the education or trust funds are in place for your children.