“A good estate plan provides income and security for you and your family during your lifetime. After your death, it provides funds to meet claims on your estate and provides sufficient income and security for your survivors.”
Estate planning involves much more than setting up the transfer of assets after death. Think of it instead as a lifelong process which includes acquiring, using, and preserving assets and arranging to transfer them during life or after death in the most effective way. The Jamaica (WI) Gleaner explains in “Personal Financial Adviser | Why estate planning is necessary” that to start you need to map out your objectives. These can be things like funding the education of your children or providing lifelong support for your spouse. You then need to determine how these objectives are to be met and if the transfer is to be made during your lifetime or after death. It is also necessary to specify the form of transfer, such as by joint ownership, a will or a trust.
The first step is to consult a qualified estate planning attorney. He or she will help you to prepare the necessary documents and advise you on acquiring assets and registering titles in the way that best meets your objectives. Things change, so review your plan every few years. There could be births, deaths, marriages, and divorces in your family; your assets may gain or lose value, and the laws may change.
Estate planning lets you decide who distributes your assets after your passing and can reduce the stress and costs of settling your estate.
A sound estate plan has liquid resources for the beneficiaries and also for prompt settling of debts and expenses. Wills are typically used to transfer assets to beneficiaries, but an experienced estate planning attorney will know about other estate-planning tools that can be implemented to achieve your objectives, perhaps more efficiently and with less expense.
Reference: The Jamaica (WI) Gleaner (November 20, 2016) “Personal Financial Adviser | Why estate planning is necessary”