When most people think about estate planning they think about wills, the end of life and death planning. This is no surprise because, traditionally, estate planning is focused on the distribution of assets upon death.
People look at how to minimize tax and how to distribute assets among their remaining family members, in a way that will ensure harmony. All of which can make the planning of an estate an uncomfortable, emotional and difficult process.
The thing is, it doesn't have to be. People are living longer and when your looking at retirement income, family structures, and several other factors, you’ve have many things to consider.
That is why modern estate planning has evolved and, while it considers what will happen upon your passing, it is more concerned with planning for the remainder of your life and ensuring you experience the quality of life you have worked for.
It’s more than just the traditional will. You want to look at how you should plan your estate while your alive, to take advantage of it throughout your remaining years.
Unfortunately, when planning an estate few people give consideration to their life plan. They ensure their family will be cared for, and that they have minimized their liabilities, but few have considered the level of enjoyment and quality of life they want in their lifetime. In fact, only 1/3 of people have a will and even less would consider the life aspect of planning.
When considering your life plan, there are some of the goals and factors you should be thinking about. It should reflect your current assets and the goals you have for your lifestyle going forward, some of which may be:
- How long do you need to plan for?
- Are your assets growing? Are they protected against fluctuation in the market?
- Where do you want to live?
- What types of holidays do you want to take?
- What are your family dynamics?
- Do you have a blended family?
- Has your spouse passed on? Are you in a co-living arrangement?
- Do you have obligations to children and grandchildren?
- Are you putting money away for their education?
- Do you have helpers or family prepared to look after you in your declining years?
Most of the time, people forget that these considerations will affect them and the do not contemplate the impact they may eventually have on their day to day quality of life.
While ensuring your family is taken care of, once you have gone, is important, you must also consider how you want to spend the remainder of your life.
In doing so, you can ensure that you enjoy every moment you have with them while also leaving behind a legacy that they will remember.