Many of us spend a significant amount of time and energy accumulating our wealth. After all of that hard work, there comes a time when we need to focus our efforts on preserving the wealth we have gathered for our families and the generations to come. There are many different ways to accomplish this, and an estate planning attorney can help you decide which methods are best for you. For instance, you can choose between traditional estate planning and legacy wealth planning. So, what is the difference?
Traditional Estate Planning
A traditional estate plan, such as wills and trusts, emphasizes the accumulation, preservation and distribution of financial assets and other possession. The main goal of traditional estate planning is to protect your wealth from probate and to keep estate taxes to a minimum.
Legacy Wealth Planning
A legacy wealth plan is a more specialized plan for managing your total wealth while you are living, and then controlling the distribution of your estate after your death. The most important element is planning how your legacy will be passed on to future generations.
Your estate includes any and all valuable asset you own. This consists of both financial and non-financial assets, real property, business interests, retirement accounts, insurance proceeds, investments and personal property. However, your legacy includes your family’s core values, community involvement, as well as family heirlooms, stories and accumulated wisdom of your family.
How are they different?
While both types of planning are geared toward avoiding probate and estate taxes, with regard to financial assets, legacy wealth planning is also concerned with non-financial assets and preserving a family’s personal legacy. Legacy wealth planning involves accumulating and transferring family traditions and values for both current and future generations.
What happens if I don’t have an estate plan
If you don’t create any type of plan, your state of residence will provide one for you, but you and your family probably won’t like it. When someone dies without a will or estate plan of any kind, the laws of intestate succession are applied to determine who will inherit your estate. Forms must be filed in court and the proceedings are completely public.
Without an estate plan, you will lose your opportunity to protect your family from an impersonal legal process, which will not take any of your wishes into consideration when distributing your assets.
Estate planning is important for everyone. However, if you are a resident of Fayetteville, and have been fortunate enough to build a solid financial base, it is even more critical to plan how your legacy will be passed on to your family. If not, your hard work and success may not be preserved for those you love.
If you have questions regarding legacy wealth planning, or any other estate planning needs, please contact Wilcox Attorneys, PA online or by calling us at (479) 443-0062.
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