Every year, we lose clients either expectantly or not. Recently we lost two precious ladies. One expected, one not. One had a spunk we loved and the other sweet as the day is long. What these two ladies had in common was that their estate was well planned to accomplish their wishes.

I have had the burden of probating the estate of my father. He was not one to openly share his finances and was not willing to have his estate well planned. The process took more than 2 years and several trips to Milwaukee to process his estate through the county probate office. Fortunately for my family I was able to navigate the complexities of this process, something I would not wish on anyone. I did get through it knowing with proper planning it would have gone much quicker and smoother.

Many people think estate planning is only for the rich. But this is not true.

Estate planning allows you or anyone to implement certain tools now to ensure that your concerns and goals are fulfilled after your death. Your objective may be to simply make sure that your loved ones are provided for, or you may have more complex goals, such as avoiding probate or reducing estate taxes.

Estate planning can be as simple as implementing a will (the cornerstone of any estate plan) and purchasing life insurance, or as complicated as executing trusts and exploring other sophisticated tax and estate planning techniques. Therefore, estate planning is important whether you are wealthy or whether you have only a small estate. In fact, estate planning may be more important if you have a smaller estate because final expenses will have a greater impact on your estate. Wasting even a single asset may cause your loved ones to suffer from lack of financial resources.

You will also want to plan your estate if you have special circumstances such as any of the following:

•             You have minor children or children with special needs

•             Your spouse is uncomfortable with or incapable of handling financial matters

•             You have property in more than one state

•             You have special property, such as artwork or collectibles

While trusts offer numerous advantages, they incur up-front costs and often have ongoing administrative fees. The use of trusts involves a complex web of tax rules and regulations.

At AEGIS Financial we work with experienced estate planning legal professionals and your tax advisors before implementing strategies to make sure your wishes are carried out after you are gone.

So, Estate Planning is for everyone. Don’t leave home without it!