Estate Planning Do you have minor children? When was your will last reviewed? Do you have a living will or health care Power of Attorney? Will taxes or probate costs unnecessarily reduce your estate? Do you plan to gift any of your assets to family members or to a charity? In order to help protect your estate for your loved ones, your financial plan should include an estate plan. Among its many benefits, an estate plan can help: distribute your assets according to your wishes upon your death; avoid the delay of probate; and reduce inheritance and estate taxes. Your estate plan should also include a will, durable power of attorney, living will and medical power of attorney. It's never too early to begin thinking about your legacy or to shape your estate plan. Contrary to what many people think, you don't need to be a millionaire to have an estate plan. An estate plan is an important part of any ongoing financial planning process. Many of us are so busy trying to build our assets that we neglect to take the time to help conserve them for the people or organizations we want to share them with after our death. If you consider the value of your home, cars, cash, investments, pension benefits, personal property, trusts, life insurance and other assets, you are probably worth a lot more than you think. The regulations covering estate planning issues tend to be complex, but that should not be a deterrent to undertaking this important task. Genesis Wealth Advisors with the support of estate planning professionals can help you make informed choices about the structure of your estate. Going forward, as your circumstances change, your estate plan should also change. Your Life, your Dreams, your Legacy Your legacy transcends money — it also encompasses your values. Your wishes and dreams may include using your assets to help secure your family's future or you may choose to support another cause close to your heart. This might be your favorite charity, your community or your place of worship, to name a few. Components of an Estate Plan Each estate plan varies according to the owner's assets, needs, wishes and goals. In general, though, common estate planning techniques include:A Will lets you specify your wishes, including how you want your property distributed, who will administer your estate and who will care for your minor children. Durable Power of Attorney which grants power to make decisions concerning your property if you become incompetent. Health Care Power of Attorney which grants someone power to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. A Living Will details those healthcare interventions that you do or do not want when you are no longer capable of making those decisions. A Financial Inventory includes your home, savings, investments, retirement benefits, life insurance and other personal property. A Record of Beneficiary Designations covers your primary and contingent beneficiaries. A Trust is a legal instrument which holds your assets for the benefit of one or more people (you, your spouse, your children). You'll need an attorney's assistance to create a trust. Life Insurance Coverage is especially important when your spouse does not work, and for families dependent on two incomes. The tax advantages offered by life insurance make it a wise estate planning tool for many people. Long-Term Care Insurance helps protect your assets from the tremendous costs of long-term care in your home or a nursing home. Gifts are transfers of property made during your life to family, friends or charity. Tax Exclusions are available as important estate planning tools. Consult your tax professional for details. Thorough Recordkeeping is a way to organize your records, not only for your own benefit but also to aid people who may need to work on your affairs. Preparing to Plan your Estate Designing a legacy consistent with your dreams and values is a personal, often complex process. But it's well worth the effort. Consider setting up a family estate planning meeting to help improve communication, prevent conflicts and let your family know what's important to you. After giving some thought to your wishes, including the needs of family members you want to provide for, seek the professional guidance and estate planning advice you need from your attorney, tax professional and financial advisor. To Help you Estimate the Value of your Estate, you'll Need to take into Consideration: Current income and likely future income Annual expenses Current assets and debts Tax implications of federal transfer taxes, state death taxes and federal income taxes Revisit your Estate Plan Regularly Just like your financial plan, it's important to review your will and other estate planning documents regularly, or when significant life events occur. The team of Financial Advisors at Genesis Wealth Advisors can help you create a financial plan that includes estate planning strategies designed to help you reflect the things that are important to you. We Can Help Regardless of its size, your estate is important. You've worked too hard to obtain the assets you have; don't let their value be reduced at your death by unnecessary taxes or improper planning. Take the time and opportunity to explore the many options for creating an estate plan with the Genesis Wealth Advisors team to help protect your assets and your beneficiaries. Genesis Wealth Advisors has the experience helping people wisely handle and grow their assets. By working closely with your other professional advisors, such as your attorney and accountant, our team of Financial Advisors can provide valuable coordination in carefully structuring your estate plan. To learn more about the Estate Planning process and other financial services, contact Genesis Wealth Advisors to schedule an appointment today. Legal services are not offered through, or supervised by Lincoln Investment or Capital Analysts.