What Are The Goals Of Estate Planning?

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Estate planning goals will, of course, vary from family to family, and depend on the things you find important. Generally speaking, estate planning is designed to allow you to give what you own to whom you want, when you want, and the way you want. In doing so, you are able to care for your loved ones in ways that are important to you. A good estate planning advisor team is able to help you clarify and define your goals, and then incorporate them into your plan. To do this, the advisors will need to gain a deep understanding of your core values and beliefs. They will need to understand the dynamics of your family.

You are likely to be asked such things as:
• What is important about planning to you?
• Do you desire to maintain control of your assets during life?
• How do you want to be cared for in the event of your disability?
• Who will care for you personally, and for your money in that event?
• Do you have minor children for whom a guardian must be appointed?
• What do you hope for your children’s future? Are there family values and beliefs you want to
pass to subsequent generations?
• What does money mean to you and what is its significance?
• Do you have a desire to make a difference in your community?
• What concerns, if any, do you have about the future of your loved ones? Are there those with
special needs?
• Is it important for you to preserve family harmony?
• Would you like to provide positive incentives to motivate and inspire your heirs?
• What about negative incentives to discourage particular behavior?
• Do you have tax concerns?
• Is privacy important to you?
• Is asset protection important to you?
• How important is it that you are able to maintain your current lifestyle?
• Do you own a business?
• Do you want to encourage entrepreneurship in your children or grandchildren?
• Do you wish to provide for advanced education for anyone?

The answers to these questions can help clarify and define your basic goals which will form the foundation of your estate plan. Of course these questions will be followed by many others. The advisor team’s first step is to listen carefully, so that you and they can design the specifics of how (and with whose help) those goals will be accomplished.

As you can see, a good estate plan can be much more than simple instructions to pass monetary wealth. You can lend purpose and meaning to a plan, and enhance the lives of your loved ones by connecting, motivating and inspiring them. Your estate plan should define who you are as a person and reflect your core values and beliefs.