A good estate plan serves to protect your wealth, avoid probate issues, and minimize your tax liabilities. Knowing what is involved will enable you to make informed decisions about your family’s financial well-being. To help demystify the estate planning process in Mississippi, we have outlined key elements for you to consider.
5 Important Planning Tools
- A Will: Your will must provide clear instructions on the distribution of your wealth, making the process less complicated for your loved ones. It must also appoint a legal representative (called executor) to carry out your wishes and if required, a guardian for your minor children. It is important to understand that a will may typically cover property , but not your investments, such as 401(k) plans, life insurance, etc.
- A Trust: A trust is a legal arrangement in which you (the trustor) appoint an individual or trust company (the trustee) to manage your assets (such as cash, stocks, bonds, etc.) and/or property for your beneficiaries. One of the most common reasons for setting up a trust is to avoid probate issues. To avoid tax and legal implications, seek advice from experienced planning professionals.
- Power of Attorney: This allows you to select an individual who will manage your finances if you are incapacitated, rather than have the court appoint someone without your input and consent.
- Healthcare proxy: Also called a healthcare power of attorney, this involves designating an individual (healthcare proxy) who will make healthcare and medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. This should also include a HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release allowing your doctors to discuss medical issues with your representative.
- Succession planning: A well-conceived plan goes beyond avoiding probate issues, and also includes a succession plan which covers your personal and business needs. This is essential to a smooth transition in the event of your incapacitation or passing, and financial security for your family. An effective way to begin is by covering important needs such as life insurance, key person, and critical illness. A well-crafted plan also includes strategies (like planned charitable giving) to minimize tax liabilities with respect to the transfer of ownership.
Choosing the Right Estate Planning Professional
When choosing an estate planner, pay careful attention to their credentials. Every individual’s situation is unique; therefore, a personalized approach is key to effective wealth management and seamless transfer of assets to your beneficiaries. Your advisor should also be someone you can relate to and feel comfortable discussing the details of your estate.
Personalized Estate Planning Advice in Mississippi
At the Executive Planning Group (EPG), we bring our best people together to manage your financial affairs. Our experienced team delivers comprehensive services from will creation to succession planning.
Call us today at 601-982-3000 or request a quote for estate planning services in Mississippi.
Disclaimer– Securities Offered Through ValMark Securities, Inc. Investment Advisory Services Offered Through ValMark Advisers, Inc.
Executive Planning Group is a separate entity from ValMark Securities, Inc. and ValMark Advisers, Inc.