Good morning and happy weekend, hopefully it isn’t too wet out, getting some sunshine and cool air is always a refreshing duo. We sure could use it, we’ve been cooped up in our offices chugging along on making preparations for next year’s tax season and working diligently to wrap up extensions from this season… which leads me to:
Clients who went on extension (ultimately due October 15th), please make sure that you’ve gotten your paperwork in to us by the end of next week (August 14th) so that we’re able to thoroughly get through everything without stress for the both of us. You can mail it, drop it into Stonevault (if we’ve set you up with an account), physically drop it off at the office – however you feel comfortable.
For the clients that have already compiled and submitted their tax paperwork, I like to take the chance offered by this “paperwork gathering lull” to encourage you to consider another, often-neglected financial task…
Sheri L. Hoble’s
“Real World” Personal Strategy Note
Now Is The Time For An Estate Plan
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Most of us spend a considerable amount of time and energy in our lives working for our families and accumulating wealth.
But unless you’re careful, much of it could go to waste.
That’s why a well-crafted estate plan is so critical. It ensures that your hard-earned wealth (including intangible, non-financial assets) can pass intact to those you intend to be your beneficiaries, instead of being siphoned off to government processes and bureaucrats, or even being lost. We all dislike handing over our resources to those who don’t have our best interests in mind.
A well-made estate plan guarantees that this will NEVER happen to your family.
“But Sheri, what happens if I don’t create an estate plan? Doesn’t the judicial system have easy steps in place for families?”
Yep, and it’s called “probate” (Latin for “prove the will”), and it’s an ugly process.
You see, “probate” guarantees government interference in how you transfer your estate (however large or small). Documents must be filed, and approval must be received from a court to pay your bills, pay your spouse an allowance, and account for your property. Oh, and even worse — it all takes place in the public’s view.
If you fail to plan your estate, not only do you lose the opportunity to protect your family from an impersonal, complex governmental process (that is a burden at best), but it’s slapped across the public domain for all to see.
Then, of course … there are taxes. You think the government is incentivized to keep those low on your behalf? There’s a variety of solutions for each family’s particular situation, but the plain fact is that working without a plan is U-G-L-Y no matter how you slice it.
When it comes right down to it, planning is a gift for your family (the people you love most), because if you don’t take care of things while you are living and able, they’ll have a mess to clean up when you are gone.
Even more, if you have children, you want to establish the proper (legal) procedure for ensuring they’re taken care of properly.
Sheri L. Hoble