As estate is the total property, real and personal, owned by an individual prior to distribution through a trust or will. Real property is real estate and personal property includes everything else, for example cars, household items, and bank accounts. Estate planning distributes the real and personal property to an individual's heirs.
An estate plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for the intended beneficiaries and flexibility for the individual prior to death.
Most people start thinking about estates planning when they reach retirement age. The normal progression of life is to get out of school, get a job, get married, have kids, get your kids through college, retire, become grandparents, enjoy life…and then, after a long and fulfilling life, we know that we will eventually die.
But real life rarely happens this way. People have children and don't get married, people get divorced, they marry more than once, and they may never marry or have a family. Real life is full of options, choices, and twists of fate.
Planning your estate now doesn't mean you will die tomorrow, just as buying homeowner's insurance doesn't mean your house will burn down tomorrow. But if you act now, you won't have to worry about what could happen to your family if your life doesn't follow the normal progression…or about making bad decisions when you've run out of time.
It's called peace of mind...and you can have it. So, when's the best time to plan your estate? Right now!