Dollars and Sense: Estate Planning Matters

Arete Financial Solutions

At Arete Financial Solutions, we understand that everyone’s estate planning needs are different, but the desired result is the same: peace of mind. Mourning the loss of a loved one is incredibly emotional. It makes it even harder when the loved ones must undergo the additional stress that comes along with sorting everything out when there is no estate plan in place.

Two of the most common documents used in estate planning are wills and trusts. Ultimately, they both aim for the same outcome, avoidance of probate and distribution of assets, but they are quite different. A will is a document that allows someone, among other things, to name guardians for their children and pets and indicate where their assets should go after they pass. In most circumstances, a will alone will not avoid a probate. A trust is a more comprehensive document that when used in conjunction with a will, provides greater flexibility and control while the Grantor (the person who creates the trust) is living and even after their death. A properly created and funded trust will generally allow the family to avoid having to go through probate.

It is never too early to start thinking about your estate planning needs. In fact, at Arete Financial Solutions, we recommend that individuals and families start considering this important step as early as their mid-20s. Once an individual becomes an adult and starts owning property of any kind, it’s important to start putting something in writing. Having assets goes beyond a car and a house. It is the watch tucked away in the closet, the grand piano in the dining room, or the artwork hanging up in the kitchen. All of a person’s assets make up their estate and it is crucial that they are accounted for.

An estate plan should be modified as your family and life circumstances change. A good rule of thumb would be to review your estate plan for any needed updates every five years or so. Marriage, children, purchasing a home, any large life event, should all trigger a serious review of your current plans. In most cases, if you don’t have a plan in writing, your estate will have to go through the probate process. This is a time-consuming, costly, and stressful court process that, with proper planning, can usually be completely avoided.

Creating an estate plan will help ensure that your loved ones are provided for and protected. With the proper guidance, it really can be a simple process. Putting the time in now can save time, money, and confusion in the future.

Simply put, estate planning matters. Get started with Arete Financial Solutions today to begin the process of creating your own personalized estate plan. It’s never a bad time to start thinking about your and your family’s future.