How Do Key Professionals Factor Into My Estate Plan?
By now you have a good idea of what an Estate Plan is. You know that everyone has an Estate, but do they have a plan, or better, do they have the right plan, in place? There are many ways we can plan for our future. Some ways are easier to plan for, from a mindset perspective. Other ways are not as easy to think about when it comes to future planning. Accumulating assets to assist us in building a healthy Legacy to leave behind, is definitely one of the more pleasant. Making end of life plans is on the less pleasant end of the spectrum but is still just as important.
Often times when we embark on building our Legacy, we put a lot of thought into how we can do so and at the most effective rate. There are a multitude of key professionals out there that can assist us in this journey. Let’s be honest, accumulating wealth is not exactly rocket science, however it is important enough to make sure it is entrusted to the right kind of professionals to ensure maximum results. While you may change your oil yourself, you would not want to fix your own transmission unless you were a certified mechanic.
Throughout your lifetime there will be key professionals who you will enlist to help you with building your best Legacy. Working with these key professionals and building a rapport with them over the years helps you to grow more confident in their opinions and more importantly their abilities. If you have a key professional that you have already been working with for years, they are a good starting point to get you networked to other valuable key professionals you may not have yet. Planning your future is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Having professionals, you trust in charge of building and protecting your Legacy just makes things more comfortable and easier for you.
So, who might you ask, are these Key Professionals and why do I need them, and when? The when is entirely up to you. The decision to hire key professionals at different stages in your life will depend on your future plans and goals, but you can start with any professional at any point throughout your lifetime. You may already have some of these professionals in place, maybe even for years now. Here is a list of key professionals you may need for planning your best Legacy.
We all have some type of insurance in our lifetimes. Usually car insurance is our first, followed by health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and life insurance. A good insurance advisor can help you streamline all of your various insurances and be there to advise when it comes time to change or add new types of necessary insurances. Underwriting and policy lingo, premiums and deductibles, all can be confusing and tricky. It is beneficial to have an insurance advisor to guide and explain to you the various complexities of the Insurance realm.
A professional you might need now could be an attorney. Because the field of law is so varied and determined by your personal needs throughout life, the type of Attorney you embark upon first will be determined by your life circumstances. You’ve heard us say it is never too soon to plan for your future. Having an Estate Planning Attorney early in your life can prove to be most advantageous. We suggest that you have certain tiers of Estate Planning in place at certain stages of your life. Read more in depth as to why here: Estate Planning Needs for Every Stage Once you have an established relationship with an Estate Planning attorney it makes planning the rest of your financial future easier. What’s more is that if you begin this relationship early it will give you the chance to grow with your attorney and build the type of lasting relationship that evokes trust and confidence. Remember a good Estate Planning attorney works with all the possible key professionals you will ever need and can be a valuable referral source for you in acquiring all of the best professionals.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA):
Not everyone needs a CPA to handle their taxes or financial filings. At some point in time however, it might become useful, even necessary for you to have one. Having a CPA, you know, and trust can help you in your future investments and tax situations. If you are interested in owning a business now or in the future, a CPA is very helpful with being able to appropriately file your taxes for you. A CPA also can represent you in an IRS tax audit should that ever come to pass for you. CPAs are Accountants with a focus on taxes. They may be able to provide you substantial savings when filing your taxes given their knowledge of filing statuses, tax brackets, federal estate taxes and even taxes on your IRAs, 401ks, and other retirement accounts.
A financial advisor or planner is a key professional who will grow with you at every stage of your life. A good financial advisor will be able to assess your financial blueprint right now and start making suggestions and investing in the Legacy you someday wish to leave. A financial advisor can be consulted on when you are younger, your estate is more modest, and you are just starting out. They will know the best plan for you to achieve your financial goals and will put processes into place to do just that. They can be consulted later down the line when you’ve amassed more assets and have a more robust portfolio. Again, the when is relative to you. Where are you in life right now? Maybe your just getting serious, maybe you should have gotten a financial advisor years ago, whatever your situation right now, the good news is, it’s never too soon to start a relationship with a good financial advisor.
Real Estate Agents:
Whether you’re buying your first home, selling your last home, or need help managing rentals you have acquired, a Real Estate Agent is needed to help you execute the sale of your home or homes. A house is an asset almost everyone seems to acquire in their lifetime, and it is an asset a lot of people wish to bequeath to someone in particular. It can sometimes be someone’s most valuable asset which means selling it could provide income for end-of-life care if needed. However, you choose to either use, or bequeath your house or houses, a Real Estate Agent can be very valuable in assisting you in either selling, renting, or transferring this asset. Having a Real Estate Agent, you have worked with for years can help make this process seamless and comfortable. Keeping your Real Estate Agent informed of your estate plans and goals will help them, help you, carry out your wishes. Sometimes a home is owned by a married couple. Typically, after the first of the couple passes, the home goes directly to the spouse. At that time, especially, it is beneficial to have a trusted Real Estate Agent handy to help if that second spouse wants to sell or rent the home. Perhaps the remaining spouse can now move into a smaller house and a sale of the existing house and buying of a new house is needed. A lot of times this happens toward the end of life when decisions are harder to make and having a Real Estate Agent who knows you and your family can relieve this often-stressful process.
Primary Care Physicians:
A primary care physician is a specialist in family medicine, general internal medicine or general pediatrics who provides definitive care to the undifferentiated patient at the point of first contact and takes continuing responsibility for providing the patient’s comprehensive care. Primary care providers manage day-to-day health needs. A long-term relationship with a PCP keeps you healthier and lowers medical costs. A PCP can teach you ways to stay healthy, treat you when you’re sick and help you get more advanced care when you need it. Typically, your PCP has been with you over the years and knows your full healthcare situation. When establishing documents pertaining to your healthcare wishes, you may want to keep your PCP in the loop. A Healthcare Surrogate and Living Will determines who you want to act on your behalf in case you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for yourself. If your PCP has a copy of these documents, if you become incapacitated, it will make matters easier for the person you have designated as your healthcare surrogate. Sometimes medical emergencies arise, and your healthcare surrogate may have to hunt and search for documents to be able to allow them to act on your behalf. In this stressful time, having a copy residing with your PCP’s office will facilitate immediate access and allow your healthcare surrogate to act right away.
Plugging these “Key Professionals” into your Estate Planning process is not just a good idea, it is beneficial to your overall plan. Part of good Estate Planning is trying to cover all your bases and helping to facilitate the easiest process for the ones you love to execute your wishes and continue your Legacy. Establishing long term relationships with key professionals in your life will give you the confidence that your Legacy will be carried out exactly how you wish, at every stage of the process. It will help the ones you love, and leave your legacy to, carry out your wishes and receive what you’ve left without added stress. You can feel more at ease knowing exactly who your loved ones will be dealing with to handle your Estate. Estate Planning is not just about leaving your assets to loved ones, it is also about making the process of settling your estate as easy and uncomplicated as possible for the ones you leave behind.
Read more related articles at:
Tasks an estate planning attorney can help with
Linking Estate Planning With Financial Planning
Real Estate and Your Estate Plan: How Does It Work?
Also, read one of our previous Blogs at:
Estate Planning Needs for Every Stage
Click here to check out our On Demand Video about Estate Planning.