How sad it is to hear from a client that a loved one passed away and there was no estate plan in place. Grieving over the loss of a loved one is difficult enough without having to face the challenges of not having an estate plan in place.
Too many tomorrows create too many problems today. Implementing an estate plan should be a top priority and not postponed until a later date. This is one of those real life examples where it would have only taken a few minutes to contact an estate attorney to begin the process of creating an estate plan. Instead, the estate planning attorney is now being contacted to help clean up a potential mess where needed funds could be tied up in the courts for months. It reminds us of the old Fram oil filter commercial – “You can pay me now, or pay me later.” (It is much cheaper to change an oil filter for a few dollars than to rebuild a car engine for thousands of dollars.) By all means, pay the estate planning attorney today!
If you do not have an estate plan, your plan is several years old, if you have relocated to a different state, your medical health has significantly changed, or family members have passed away or new ones have entered the family, it may be an opportune time to call that estate planning attorney and request a consultation.
What is an estate plan? We will let the estate planning attorney address that with you. However, you may wish to become familiar with such terms as a will, a revocable and irrevocable trust, a living will or advance health directive, and a durable power of attorney. In addition, it is most important to review the beneficiaries listed on all retirement accounts and investment accounts. Despite what your expressed wishes are in your will as to your beneficiaries, some types of accounts are governed by the named beneficiaries in these types of accounts. So although your will says that your only child should receive your full inheritance, if your sole retirement account designates another beneficiary (such as a divorced ex-spouse), your daughter may not see a dime of your inheritance.
If you want to discuss your business or personal tax planning, tax preparation and other financial concerns with an experienced tax professional, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.