What Is Estate Planning, and Why Is It Beneficial?

If you’ve heard the term “estate planning” and aren’t really sure what it means, make 2017 the year you get up to speed and hire an estate planning service in Des Moines, IA.

Below, we’ll take a look at what estate planning is and why it makes sense to work with a professional for these services.

What is estate planning?

First, it’s important to note that a common belief is that writing a will is the extent of estate planning, but this is not necessarily the case.

Estate planning refers to the process of determining how you would like for your assets and other affairs to be taken care of if you become incapacitated or pass away. The goals are to set out your wishes as clearly as possible and to maximize the value of your estate by following sound financial advice.

To ascertain whether developing an estate plan makes sense for you, experts recommend totaling the value of your assets, including real estate, taxable investment accounts, cash accounts, retirement accounts and cars and other valuable items, such as jewelry, furniture and clothing. If this number is larger than one estate tax exemption amount at either the state or federal level, creating an estate plan may be a logical choice.

As you work on creating an estate plan, you will want to consider, among other factors:

  • What type of funeral you would like and how your remains should be handled
  • Who will be responsible for minor children if you become unable to take care of them during your lifetime, as well as who will serve as guardians following your death
  • Whom you wish to receive your assets
  • Who will be responsible for managing your property if you become unable to do so
  • Who will receive your property once you are no longer living and how assets will be allocated to the various beneficiaries you have selected
  • Who will make healthcare decisions and how they will do this if you become unable to do so on your own

Why is estate planning beneficial?

As you can likely tell from the above list, estate planning has a number of benefits. It provides the opportunity to make decisions in the best interest of your surviving loved ones and allows your beneficiaries to receive your property expediently, and for other decisions related to property to be handled quickly.

Estate planning also enables you to place less strain on your family by making decisions and communicating about your wishes, and to choose someone you can trust to serve as executor or trustee of your estate.

What about if you are a small business owner? You’ll have the opportunity to provide for a smooth continuation of the business’ services and to communicate your intentions for how the business will run after you are no longer able to play a role.

Ready to work with an estate planning service in Des Moines, IA? Contact Accounting & Tax Professionals, PLC for assistance with your estate planning needs. We also offer a variety of other personal and business services, including tax resolution, tax audit representation, tax preparation, small business accounting, notary services, payroll, investment consultation, financial and tax planning and more. We look forward to working with you!

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