Estate Planning for the Rest of Us

In Articles, Articles: Kansas City Office, Articles: Salt Lake City Office by Scott Dougan

I’ve had the pleasure of teaching many retirement and tax classes at colleges and universities.

In the classes, we sought to deepen our understanding of how our tax system works as it pertains to investments and income sources, as well as consider some strategies available to a retiree to pay only their fair share of taxes during retirement. While the subject matter may not sound riveting, the effect of having a tax-sensitive retirement withdrawal strategy may make it possible for your money to last many years longer than if you’d simply winged it.

While tax management is an integral part of a successful retirement plan, so are income planning, investment planning, healthcare planning, and estate planning.  And this brings us to today’s thought: what actually is ‘estate planning’ and have you done it?

Before we get too far, allow me to say that I am not the expert in all things estate planning related. I can make a strong case for why it’s an essential planning area, even for non-rich people (we all have an ‘estate’), but estate planning’s finer points are best left to an estate planning attorney.

If you’re wondering if your estate plan is setup properly, or even what estate planning is, I highly recommend that you carve an hour out of your busy schedule to meet with an estate planning attorney. We can introduce you to one if you’d like.

When reviewing clients’ account statements and documents, we too often see incorrect beneficiaries, lack of proper protections, and tax bombs that will ultimately explode when the unfortunate occurs. If you’re not confident that your plan will work as intended, please contact us to put a team in-place to address it. You’ve worked too hard to leave your affairs to chance, so let us help you restore order to your estate planning and ensure you’re leaving behind a lasting legacy and not an ugly mess.

While nobody enjoys paying taxes or attorney fees, there is a meaningful sense of accomplishment when planning your estate, knowing that you’ve taken practical and legal steps to prepare and protect those whom you love for an uncertain future. I can attest to the fact that having your estate plan in order will contribute to your peace of mind and maybe even your ability to sleep well at night. I’ll leave you with this question:

If you hadn’t made it home last night, would your affairs have been in order?