Photo of Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO Eric R. Ebbert, CFP®, MBA, CEO Feb 20, 2021

Many people are familiar with making a will as a means to have their wishes fulfilled in the event that they pass. However, wills can be a hassle because they have to be probated through a court, which can be expensive, and they are a matter of public record. 

There is an alternative to a will if you want to avoid all of that hassle: estate planning.

Estate planning vs beyond a will

Wills and living trusts are both tools that help you ensure that your assets are passed on as you wish when you pass away, but an estate plan can offer much more.

With a living trust, you can designate wishes for how your assets are handled while you are still alive but unable to make decisions, such as if you are in a coma. Additionally, living trusts may include provisions for child care and appointing trustees to handle the affairs of your estate until a child comes of age.

Unlike a will, a living trust is not subject to a probate, which is the legal process in which an authorized court administrator reviews a will and executes it. This can be a long and expensive process that you can help your family avoid by establishing a living trust instead.

It is important to note that estate plans are subject to taxes that vary from state to state. Some states, like Florida, do not collect estate taxes, but you may still owe taxes to the federal government. Make sure to factor this into your planning if it will affect you.

Talk to a ProVise CFP® professional about estate planning instead of making a will

You want your loved ones to have the best care possible and for your assets to be distributed as you wish. Establishing an estate plan might be the best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled. However, estate planning can be challenging, especially when it comes to financial planning and navigating the legal landscape. Fortunately, there are professionals who can work by your side to help you get your estate plan set up the way you want.

At ProVise Management Group, our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals can get to know you and your current financial circumstances, goals, risk tolerance and personal values to help you develop a plan that works for you. We can also create a written plan for you at a fiduciary standard of care. All our written plans come with an unconditional money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with your written plan, you can return it to us, and we will refund 100% of the fee paid.

Are you ready to talk to a professional about your estate planning? Contact ProVise today to schedule a complimentary consultation.