Rockfin Estate Planning Advisors help you by creating a comprehensive estate plan to manage your assets and provide for your loved ones after your death. It is crucial that you plan in advance for the distribution of your assets upon your death. Creating an Estate Plan is an important responsibility and yet, too many people do not have a Will in place. The reality is that anything can happen, and it’s important to be well prepared. When you properly plan how your estate and assets will be distributed once you pass away, you are actively taking steps toward securing your family’s financial future.
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As life progresses and goals shift, the estate plan should move to be in line with new goals to overcome new obstacles. Lack of solid and comprehensive estate planning can cause undesired financial burdens to your loved ones.
While most people would prefer to think they are untouchable, the old joke is that only two things in life are for sure: death and taxes. Not only is it important that you have a trustworthy plan in place for what happens when you die, you must also implement your plan, making sure others know about it, and understand your wishes.
The most basic step in estate planning involves writing a will. Other major estate planning tasks include:
- limiting estate taxes by setting up trust accounts in the name of beneficiaries.
- establishing a guardian for living dependents.
- naming an executor of the estate to oversee the terms of the will.
- creating/updating beneficiaries on plans such as life insurance, IRAs and 401(k)s.
- setting up funeral arrangements.
- establishing annual gifting to qualified charitable and non-profit organisations to reduce the taxable estate.
- setting up durable power of attorney (POA) to direct other assets and investments.
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life and after death, while minimising gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax. Estate planning includes planning for incapacity as well as a process of reducing or eliminating uncertainties over the administration of a probate, and maximising the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can be determined by the specific goals of the client, and may be as simple or complex as the client’s needs dictate. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.
In South Africa, it’s reported that numerous estates don’t have the liquidity required to settle their debts, which can result in rough financial periods for dependents who need to suddenly fend for themselves.
Tactical consideration of your loved ones’ liquidity needs upon your death is an essential element of estate planning because of Capital Gains Tax (CGT), which can have an impact on the amount of cash or assets that is actually distributed to your heirs.
A well-planned estate can benefit anyone with assets, but if you are regularly bolstering your wealth by acquiring assets like houses, cars, bikes, boats, jewellery or art, it’s advisable to discuss your estate plan with an expert.
Also, your estate planning should take place at least once a year. This means sitting down and reviewing the previous plan to make any alterations based on income growth or asset acquisitions.
You can also make changes if you part with assets, or experience a knock to your income.