PROVERBS 20:21(NASB) AN INHERITANCE GAINED HURRIEDLY AT THE BEGINNING WILL NOT BE BLESSED IN THE END.
An estate is comprised of everything you own—cars, homes, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, retirement accounts, mineral rights, life insurance, personal possessions, collectables, etc. Estate Planning includes protecting these assets while living, as well as pre-planning for the distribution of them upon your death to your loved ones. A well thought out Estate Plan creates a defense for asset protection. Can you provide for your beneficiaries and charitable giving goals, minimize estate taxes and other expenses and lower the stress and chaos for those left behind upon your death? It has been estimated that 85% of the American population does not have any kind of estate plan, not even a simple will. Are you one of them?
Over my 29 years in business, I have seen many families put through enormous stress for months, and sometimes years, because the parents either did not have an estate plan or, if they did, it was not structured properly to minimize estate taxes and the probate process. Attorney fees in the meantime can add up to thousands of dollars to settle an estate at the expense of those left behind.
I’ve been working with many families in the Eagle Ford Shale Oil and Gas play the last few years. Their mineral rights are easily surpassing the Estate Tax exemption which is presently 5.25 million. Therefore, proper estate planning for them can mean saving the family millions in estate taxes, or costing millions in estate taxes if not constructed properly.
I have one client come to me 5 years ago after his mom’s death. The family had to come up with 3.8 million dollars to pay estate tax due on the value of the family farm within nine months of her death because proper estate planning was not done. They did not have the cash to pay the estate tax because all the value was in their land, so they had to borrow the money to pay the tax or sell the farm quickly at a large discount. This is a situation no one would want to see their loved ones face.
Is your estate plan in order? Everyone, regardless of financial worth, needs some sort of estate plan to keep the ones they love from going through the stress and chaos associated with dying without a properly structured estate plan. Remember, the #1 reason for financial failure is procrastination. This applies to estate planning as well. Please don’t wait any longer to begin your estate planning.