Estate Planning Basics

Estate Planning Basics 
Estate planning is critical to everyone, not just to people with estates subject to estate taxes. This section provides you with the necessary information to begin making important decisions about how you want to distribute your assets upon your death and your personal healthcare directives. In addition, this section will give you the steps you can take to make or update your estate plan.

 Setting Life’s Priorities
We have found that most people have three priorities when it comes to estate planning: 1) future financial security, 2) providing for their families, and 3) giving back to hometowns and favorite charitable organizations. 

Future Financial Security
The most common concern raised by people we meet is whether they will have enough money.  While no one has a crystal ball to give a definitive answer to this question, we have found that qualified financial advisors provide guidance to determine how much money you will need in the future. With this information you will be able to address the next two priorities.

Family
“How much is enough for my family?” This is the second most common question asked. Unfortunately, there is no one answer that is right for every family. It depends upon many factors. To help you in this area, here are some questions to ask yourself: Do I want to treat all of my family members equally? How will an inheritance affect my children?

Another way to help you answer the question of “how much is enough?” is to think of your community or favorite charitable organizations as another member of your family and divide your assets accordingly.

Therefore, if you have three children, you would divide your assets four ways instead of three. Then ask yourself, will this reduced inheritance to your family materially affect their lifestyle?

Charity
Once you have defined the first two priorities, you are ready to consider how you want to help your community and favorite charitable organizations. There are many gift options to consider.  Please review the section on “Ways to Give” to see giving options.

As you consider your life’s priorities, we encourage you to seek the advice and counsel of professional advisors. When you are ready to address your charitable interests, contact The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation at 601.583.6180