As you accumulate wealth in pursuit of financial goals, have you given any thought to estate planning?
Estate planning encompasses more than just the distribution of your estate to your heirs; it is a process designed to identify the best way to accumulate, preserve, and pass your wealth. A carefully prepared estate plan can help you address lifetime management issues, as well as death transfer issues.
Before you get started, ask yourself the following questions:
Whom do you want to benefit from your wealth?
Do you want to donate some or all of your wealth to charity?
Do you want to transfer some of your wealth to your beneficiaries during your lifetime or only upon your death?
Do you have any situations that require specialized planning, such as a previous marriage or a special needs child, blended families, or a beneficiary that spends money irresponsibly?
With these questions answered, you can begin looking into the various estate planning tools available to you, such as wills and trusts.
What are wills and trusts?
A will is simply a legal document that provides instructions outlining how you would like your assets administered and distributed at your death. In your will, you can name an executor or personal representative who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes after the probate process confirms the validity of your will. You can also nominate a guardian for minor children and plan for specific bequests to certain individuals or charitable organizations.
It is important to remember that a will is effective only at your death. For this reason, a will does not address lifetime concerns, such as the management of your assets in the event of incapacity or specialized planning for unique beneficiary needs.
A trust is a legal document that names an individual or entity as the trustee. The trustee takes legal title to the assets and manages the assets you transfer to the trust for the benefit of the persons (the “beneficiaries”) that you specify in the trust document. The trustee is responsible for managing and administering the assets according to the instructions in the trust document.
While wills and trusts are important to your estate plan, there are many other tools and strategies available to you as well. At Kletschke Wealth Management Group, we will work closely with your estate planning attorney and your CPA to help you understand your estate planning needs and strategies. If you would like to learn more about your estate planning options, contact Kim, Korey, or Tyler at Kletschke Wealth Management Group in Stifel’s Sioux City office!
Kletschke Wealth Management Group 700 4th Street, Suite 100 Sioux City, Iowa 51101 (712) 252-6931 [email protected]