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Considerations for estate planning

Planning to leave an inheritance to your loved ones? To help guide you in the estate planning process, here are five things to consider:

1. It takes time.

Transferring wealth is not a simple case of documenting who receives what. You’ll need time, transparency and tax consideration to ensure a smooth transition.

2. Make your wishes clear.

The decision to leave an inheritance may be simple, but the family dynamics involved may not be as easy to navigate. With a trend developing towards expensive legal battles, it’s crucial that you make your wishes clear. Bring your family together (with a mediator, if necessary) to have a frank conversation about your decisions and the reasoning behind them to avoid future feuds. 

3. Consider division of assets.

What may initially seem like an equal distribution may not turn out that way after taxes have been deducted, so
make sure to consider:

  • Financial gifts you may have already given

  • Differing taxation levels on asset classes

4. Take your health into account.

No one likes to think about the possibility of mental or physical decline, but it’s important to consider, especially as the risk of dementia doubles every five years after age 65. Prepare in advance and regularly review your plan to make sure your wishes are understood.

5. Don’t forget your tax strategy.

With our highly complex tax system, it’s key to develop a well-structured strategy to protect your heirs’ inheritance from getting significantly reduced. We suggest asking your accountant how to best mitigate the effects of tax on your estate.

Take the next step

At its core, estate planning is a crucial part of ensuring your assets are safeguarded for your loved ones and is part of your complete financial plan.

In the end, estate planning is about ensuring your wishes are respected and your assets are safeguarded for your loved ones. To get started, consult a wealth advisor at SCU for a full review of your financial plan. We can help you stay on track and preserve your family’s wealth across generations.

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