Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Estate Planning: How Much Does it Cost?

The better question, really, is. “What is the value of estate planning?”
The value of estate planning lies in providing security to your health and property for yourself and your loved ones. Those who fail to plan may see a major loss in assets, healthcare, and even the uncertainty of legal guardianship for one’s child in the case of incapacitation. The value of estate planning to a single parent could mean having the safety and security of choosing and knowing who will be the legal guardian of their child in the case of disability or death. Other issues could be avoided by planning and setting up trusts to hold to the benefit of their child to insure their future as well as to ensure the security of other assets to beneficiaries such as other family members.

In the case of a couple who own a home, a money market account, CD’s, and with their estate exceeding $1 million, failure to do estate planning results in any assets over $1million to be taxed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and also by the Federal Government (in the year 2013, assuming the return of the $1 million exemption) at a rate of 55%. This means double taxation and that less than half of the assets accumulated over a lifetime will pass to their beneficiaries.

In the case of an elderly or disabled person who may have long term care needs, perhaps including nursing home care, failure to plan could result in catastrophic loss of all the person’s lifetime assets. This is the value of Estate Planning. When you call asking us, “How much does it cost?”, I ask you to consider how much it is worth to you to safeguard your children’s future; to safeguard assets for your loved ones; and to protect yourself from nursing home impoverishment. How much is it worth to you?